-- Stars of the National Hockey League are taking Manhattan this week for the 2011 Player Media Tour.
More than 30 players, including Alex Ovechkin
, Sidney Crosby
, Corey Perry
, Steven Stamkos
and Tim Thomas
, will take part in the League's third annual event that will take them to the NHL headquarters on Sixth Avenue as well as Prudential Center in Newark.
The event begins Wednesday night with an invite-only player cocktail party at the Versace Boutique on 5th Avenue.
The NHL in conjunction with the clubs has coordinated the Player Media Tour since 2008. This year's is going to be the biggest yet with more players than ever.
Starting Thursday, the players will be separated with some visiting the League's office space in midtown Manhattan and others heading across the river to Prudential Center.
For two days they will be interviewed by all the League's national broadcast rights-holders as well as a sampling of local and national media members. The players will shoot promos for advertisements that will run throughout the year. They will be photographed.
The Player Media Tour is, in essence, the unofficial start to the NHL season.
Follow along with NHL.com for live coverage of the entire Player Media Tour, starting with Wednesday's party at the Versace Boutique, where some of the League's biggest stars will all be in one room.