The National Hockey League’s All-Star Game, which will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, later this month, will contain a 3-on-3 scrimmage between leading American and Canadian women’s ice hockey players, according to multiple reports.
The NHL is expected to announce later this week more details, including a new element at the skills competition.
At last year’s All-Star Game in San Jose, California, US national team forward Kendall Coyne Schofield became the first woman to compete in the NHL All-Star skills competition, taking part in the fastest skater competition as a late replacement.
Notably, all of the women selected to play in 2020 NHL All Star weekend are part of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association, a group of approximately 200 players who are boycotting professional ice hockey this season to push for a “single, viable women’s professional league in North America.”
It is unclear what role the NHL will play in this but league executives have said they will not get involved as long as a current option exists. The National Women’s Hockey League is currently midway through its fifth season and has rebounded after a summer of turmoil.
The NHL, meanwhile, is concerned about the repeated absence of its star men’s players from the All-Star Game, most notably Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, who is missing the event for the second consecutive year. Vegas Golden Knights goalie Marc-Andre Fleury also has opted out of this year’s event.
Elsewhere, the NHL announced an extension of its agreement to hold its annual scouting combine in Buffalo at the Sabres’ downtown practice facility, LECOM Harborcenter, through 2022.