NEW YORK / TORONTO - While the race for teams to make the 2017 Stanley Cup® Playoffs continues, NHL fans worldwide can begin to share their predictions in the Stanley Cup® Playoffs Bracket Challenge™. Early registration is open at NHL.com/Bracket for fans interested in facing off against friends, family, colleagues, hockey experts and fellow hockey fans, including celebrities, in public or privately created leagues. Once the Stanley Cup® Playoffs First Round match-ups are set, fans can start creating and submitting brackets containing their predictions for each and every series online or via the NHL® App. Brackets will be locked at 6:59 p.m. ET on April 12, before the puck drops in the first game of the Stanley Cup® Playoffs.
Notable fans from the worlds of television, movies, music and sports will again test their hockey knowledge in the "Famous Hockey Fans" league. Since the Bracket Challenge's inception, the league has featured predictions from Jon Hamm, Michael J. Fox, Kevin Smith, David Boreanaz, Taylor Kitsch, Will Arnett, Boomer Esiason, Willie Geist, Matt Lauer, Snoop Dogg, Alyssa Milano and many more. Last year, actor and Pittsburgh native Joe Manganiello was the victor in the "Famous Fans League" for correctly predicting the Penguins would hoist the Stanley Cup®.
"The Stanley Cup is arguably the hardest trophy to win in professional sports and hockey fans share in their team's long and grueling quest for the Cup," said NHL Chief Marketing Officer & Executive Vice President Heidi Browning. "The Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge was developed to channel friendly competition among fans while increasing engagement. In four short years, hockey fans have welcomed bracketology into their Playoffs experience."
Fans can compete with friends and family in private leagues and with fellow hockey fans worldwide in public leagues. A leaderboard will allow fans to see how their brackets are performing compared to fellow competitors in their leagues and fans competing globally in the Bracket Challenge. Fans can share their brackets on Facebook and Twitter with the official hashtag #NHLBracket
Prizes will be awarded to U.S. or Canadian entrants who finish at the top of the leaderboard in the Bracket Challenge. The Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for two (2) to the 2017 NHL Awards™ in Las Vegas. In total, eight fans will win prizes. All prizes are subject to confirmation of eligibility and compliance with winner notification requirements. Residents in other countries who participate in the Bracket Challenge are not eligible to win any prizing. There is no purchase necessary to participate in the Bracket Challenge. For Official Rules, visit NHL.com/Bracket_Rules.
NHL.com and NHL Network™ will offer comprehensive coverage of the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, including special segments highlighting Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge™ fan predictions. NHL Social will showcase brackets from the Famous Fans League.