LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — If you didn’t follow hockey and heard there was a big three-on-three tournament at Staples Center Sunday, you’d probably be thinking basketball. Playing “3-on-3” after all, is perhaps the most common form of pick-up basketball.
Last year the NHL changed the traditional three-period East vs. West format to a 3-on-3 tournament and the ratings were worth keeping it.
The puck will drop for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game at 12:30 Sunday.
NHL Hall of Famer, Kings legend and team president Luc Robitaille explains how the change is better for players and fans.
“I love it, I thought it was a great idea last year,” Robitaille said. “We thought it would be fun for the players since there’s not as much hitting.”
And the fans may get a better experience
“They really get to show their skills. It makes it fun for the fans because you’re able to see guys compete, you’re able to compete because then their chance of getting hurt is not as big when you go 5-on-5.”
The All-Star Tournament will feature three 20-minute games, with star players from each division making up the four All-Star teams: Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metropolitan. Each team will be made up of 11 players from each division: six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.
Robitaille, who holds the NHL record for most goals (668) as a left-winger, says the turnout at LA Live has been fantastic so far and it is great for the game of hockey. With the popularity of hockey in California now, could our neighbors to south, who just lost their NFL franchise to L.A., get han NHL team someday?
With the popularity of hockey in California now, could our neighbors to south, who just lost their NFL franchise to L.A., get an NHL team someday?
“Maybe, who knows,” Robitaille said. “We think that’s a great market and they’re doing well the Gulls down there. So you never know, but you need a buyer.”
The San Diego Gulls have been a successful franchise of American Hockey League for several years.