The NHL's top stars - including Mark Messier, Jaromir Jagr, Rob Blake, Martin Brodeur, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mike Modano, Markus Naslund, Jeremy
Roenick, Joe Sakic and Joe Thornton - will meet on ESPN and ABC Sports for
the 54th annual All-Star Game and weekend celebration Saturday, February 7 and Sunday, February 8.
For the 12th consecutive year, ESPN will provide live coverage of NHL
All-Star Saturday, featuring the third annual NHL YoungStars Game from 8:00 to 9:00 PM ET followed by the 2004 Dodge/NHL SuperSkills Competition from 9:00 to 10:30 PM ET on Saturday. Both programs will be offered in high definition on ESPN HD.
Gary Thorne, Barry Melrose and Darren Pang will work the YoungStars Game
from the booth with Bill Clement and Brian Engblom reporting from the
benches. Thorne, Melrose and Pang will call the SuperSkills Competition
from the booth with Clement and Engblom conducting interviews and providing
reports from the ice. All action will take place at the Xcel Energy Center
in St. Paul, Minnesota, home of the Minnesota Wild.SKYCAM TO BE USED DURING NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND:
In addition to miked players from both conferences, interviews from the locker rooms, and the production innovations ESPN uses for its game telecasts, the network will utilize SkyCam, a remote-controlled camera above the ice operating on a series of wires between the blue lines, for both Saturday events and the All-Star Game. SkyCam offers fans a birds-eye view of how the plays develop and an unobstructed view of the puck.
The 2004 Dodge/NHL SuperSkills Competition will include: Puck Control Relay, Fastest Skater, Hardest Shot, Accuracy Shooting, Pass and Score and the Breakaway Relay. TargetCams, credit-card sized cameras on the targets, will be used for the sixth consecutive year during the Accuracy Shooting competition. Coverage for the SuperSkills will include on-ice cameras to capture all the action during the competition and interviews with various players from the 1980 USA Olympic team.
The NHL YoungStars Game will pit Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference players, all 25-and-under, playing three, 10-minute running-time periods in a four-on-four format. The Eastern Conference squad will consist of all rookies, including five of the top rookie scorers: Michael Ryder (Montreal), Trent Hunter (N.Y. Islanders), Patrice Bergeron (Boston), Eric Staal (Carolina) and Ryan Malone (Pittsburgh). Seven rookies, three second-year players and one third-year player will fill the Western Conference team. Non-rookie players include defenseman Alexei Semenov (Edmonton) and forwards Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Minnesota) and Jonathan Cheechoo (San Jose) in their second season and forward Raffi Torres (Edmonton) in his third.ON-SITE NHL REPORTS FROM MINNESOTA:
ESPN's SportsCenter will feature daily reports from Steve Levy and Melrose. Special All-Star Game editions of NHL 2Night - Friday (1:30 AM ET), Sunday
(1:00 AM ET) and Monday (1:00 AM ET) - will include on-site reports from John Buccigross and Melrose.NHL ALL-STAR GAME ON ABC SPORTS:
ABC Sports will provide live coverage of the 2004 NHL All-Star Game,
pitting the Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference on Sunday, February 8 at 3:00 PM ET. Thorne, Clement and John Davidson will call the action with ice-level reporters Engblom and Pang. Sam Ryan will serve as a roving reporter to provide viewers with a flavor of St. Paul. John Saunders and Melrose will provide on-site, pre-game, intermission and post-game reports.
ABC Sports' coverage will include microphones on several players and RefCam, a tiny camera mounted on a referee's helmet providing a unique view of the action from ice level.ESPN CLASSIC NHL ALL-STAR PROGRAMMING:
On Saturday, February 7 at 10:00 AM ET, ESPN Classic will begin a 20-hour block of NHL All-Star programming, including classic NHL All-Star contests from 1991, 1970, 1990, 1988, 1989, 1980 and 1986. In addition to classic
All-Star Games, ESPN Classic will televise the 2004 World Junior Hockey
Championship, featuring USA's victory over Canada, at 6:00 PM ET.