- Emily Kaplan is ESPN’s national NHL reporter.
The NHL revamped its All-Star Game roster selection process to include more influence from fans than ever before, NHL chief marketing officer Heidi Browning told ESPN on Wednesday.
The NHL Hockey Operations Department has selected the first 32 All-Stars — one representative from each team, including four goalies (one from each division). Those selections will be unveiled on Thursday, during ESPN’s broadcast of the Washington Capitals vs Columbus Blue Jackets game.
Then, essentially, fans vote for the rest. And for the first time, the NHL is also introducing a Twitter vote component.
“We’re always looking for ways to evolve the format,” Browning said. “Looking at the data and hearing from fans over the past several years, we know that fans want more influence on our All-Star roster. So we accommodated by expanding the number of players fans can vote for.”
Last season, fans voted for the four divisional team captains. NHL Hockey Ops filled out the remaining roster, then fans were invited to vote for the final four “Last Men In.”
This season, the NHL will open voting Thursday for fans to select 12 players — two skaters and one goalie from each division — to complete the 44-man roster for the All-Star Skills and All-Star Game. Striving for global inclusivity, the online platform will be available in eight languages.
The league will combine the traditional online vote with data it collects from Twitter. Every time a person tweets a player’s name or handle with the #NHLAllStarVote it will be counted, as will retweets, replies or quote tweets.
The 12 players voted in by fans are expected to be announced on Jan. 19.
The 2023 NHL All-Star weekend will be hosted by the Florida Panthers on Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida.
The All-Star coaches will be determined by Jan. 11; coaches leading their division by points percentage through that night’s games will be selected.
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