AHL Announces New Divisional All-Star Format

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Following the NHL's announcement of a change to the All-Star format, the AHL also announced changes to their format today. It's not quite as extreme as the NHL's, which does 3-on-3 for the entire time, but it's definitely a big change.

Here's the release:
American Hockey League President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today a new game format for the 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic, scheduled for January 31 and February 1 at the Onondaga County War Memorial Arena in Syracuse, N.Y.

The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Challenge will take place on the evening of Feb. 1. Instead of a traditional 60-minute game, the league’s all-stars will be divided into four teams, one representing each of the league’s divisions (Atlantic, North, Central, Pacific). The teams will then play a round-robin tournament featuring six games of nine minutes each; the first half of each game will be played at 4-on-4, and the second half at 3-on-3. The two teams with the best records at the end of the round-robin tournament will face off for the championship, a six-minute game played at 3-on-3.

“We have been working on developing an All-Star Challenge concept since last spring, and this tournament idea is the result of many discussions with players, coaches and general managers around the league,” said Andrews. “We all believe that this will be an exciting showcase event for our players and fans alike as we highlight the skill, energy and excitement that has been a hallmark of the AHL for 80 years.”

Rosters for each team will be composed of 11 skaters and two goaltenders each. All 30 AHL teams will be represented by at least one All-Star player. The coach for each team will be the AHL head coach whose team has the highest points percentage in each division at the end of play on Dec. 31.

The 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 31 will keep its traditional format, with the All-Stars from the two Eastern Conference divisions squaring off against the All-Stars from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events.