How different will the 2011 ECHL All-Star Game format be from years past?
Consider that if the same format were used in January, when the Reign hosted the game at Citizens Business Bank Arena, the entire Reign team would have participated.
The Bakersfield Condors, this year’s host, wanted to liven up the format and have more of their players on the ice when the 2011 Game comes to Rabobank Arena. So they will take on a collection of 21 ECHL All-Stars at the 2011 game, a format that hasn’t been used since 1997. The Charlotte Checkers beat the ECHL All-Stars 7-6 that year.
Not all the details have been finalized, namely how the voting will be conducted to determine the ECHL All-Star roster. There are 19 teams in the league this season; it hasn’t been decided if there must be one All-Star representative from the remaining 18 teams. Last year, 42 All-Stars were selected from among all 20 ECHL teams. An ECHL spokesperson said there will still be an emphasis on selecting younger players who have a chance to move up in professional hockey.
While the risk of a Bakersfield player suffering injury increases greatly, Condors players also get more exposure to the American Hockey League scouts (and any NHL scouts) in the building.
There’s also more of a rooting interest for Bakersfield fans, which might help boost attendance.
In other changes, a skills competition will take place during pre-game festivities and within
the first intermission. Skills that are scheduled to be a part of the
competition are accuracy shooting, fastest skater, hardest shot and “king of
the shootout.” Last year, a longer skills competition with more events was held the day before the All-Star Game.
Download a .pdf file of the uniform designs here: