Never afraid to try new ideas and challenge conventional hockey thinking, the American Hockey League will blend some new- and old-school concepts for its 2016 Toyota AHL All-Star Classic.
To celebrate the AHL's 80th anniversary, the Syracuse Crunch will host the event at Onondaga County War Memorial Arena. Portions of the movie "Slap Shot" were filmed in the 64-year-old building. AHL president Dave Andrews said that players will wear throwback jerseys for the two-day event that starts Jan. 31, 2016.
"[Syracuse] is a great place to celebrate the league," Andrews said.
But the event will have a decidedly modern wrinkle for what the league is calling an "All-Star Challenge." Much like the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game, each of the AHL's four divisions will ice a team with 11 skaters and two goaltenders. The teams will compete in a round-robin format; each of the six games will be nine minutes. A six-minute final game between the divisional teams with the two best records will settle the event's championship.