NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There are some big changes at this year's NHL All-Star Game, which is set to kick off at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday night at Bridgestone Arena.
The NHL has scrapped a million different All-Star Game formats in the last twenty years or so, but most of those formats were based on the formation of the teams. North America vs. World. Campbell vs. Wales. East vs. West. Pick two captains and name the teams after them. And so on.
But while this year's teams are different -- there will be four of them, one for each division -- the real change will, for the first time in All-Star history, actually be in the way the game is played.
It's a 3-on-3 tournament, with each team made up of 11 players: six forwards, three defensemen and two goalies. Three games will be played in total. First, the Atlantic Division team will face the Metropolitan Division team, and the winner will advance to a final against the winner of the game between the Central and Pacific Divisions.
The games will be 20 minutes long, with two 10 minute periods separated by a hard whistle at the 10 minute mark. Teams will switch ends at that mark. Penalties will be one minute in length, and all NHL rules apply, so fourth skaters could be added during power plays as teams are not allowed to ice less than three at a time.
All goals will be confirmed by video review, and NHL hockey ops will initiate coach's challenges if needed. There will be no overtime in the event of a tie -- right to the shootout after the 20 minutes are up.
The winning team will earn $1 million in prize money, divided among the players on that team.
So, will this shake up the All-Star Game, which has been a dull goal-fest in its recent history? 3-on-3 overtime has been an amazing success so far this season, but there is a chance that 20 minutes of it will a) tire out the players and b) just be too much of a good thing. We'll see on Sunday night in Nashville just how this experiment goes.
How to watch the 2016 NHL All-Star Game
- When: 5 p.m. ET, Sunday
- Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tenn.
- In the USA: NBC Sports Network, NBC Live Stream
- In Canada: CBC, TVA Sports