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NHL All-Star Game: Puck Drops At 4:00, But Pre-Game Starts Now

If you tune in to the NHL Network, or visit NHL.com, you can catch all of the fun pre-game events hosted by the dynamic duo of Jeremy Roenick and Keven Weekes. Roenick, you might remember, is the guy who called moving Byfuglien to defense the dumbest move he’s ever heard. It made for some awkwardness yesterday on the red carpet, though JR’s asking Buff to freestyle might be worse:

Also, Weeksie, Byfuglien is not a forward. Anywho, these two guys will be hosting the events, but the Versus broadcast team of Doc Emerick and Eddy Olczyk will be broadcasting the game.

The All-Star Game has a bit of a reputation with fans of a bunch of guys skating around, lighting up goaltenders, and goofing off for three hours, and that’s what it is. Unlike Major League Baseball’s format, the game doesn’t determine home-ice advantage in the Stanley Cup finals – the teams’ regular season finish does that. There’s really no motivation to win, it’s just all about fun. Vice President of Hockey and Business Development Brendan Shanahan has been trying to re-invent the weekend in a way that’s both more relevant for the players, and creates more interest for the fans, and he’s succeeded. Fans are rooting for teams that have the most unique and unpredictable line-ups in recent memory. Thrashers fans’ll have to cheer on not just Byfuglien, but also rivals Martin St. Louis and Steven Stamkosboth of whom Byfuglien has enjoyed getting to know this weekend.

“St. Louis was one guy who I’ve seen a lot this year and that I was impressed with tonight. I was looking forward to being part of his team. Stamkos is another guy that has given us trouble but was fun to sit and chat with.”

Puck drop is today at 4:00, and there’s no other sports on that’ll get in your way of watching the game, so why not? Even if you’re not a Thrashers fan, or if you’re just a super-casual hockey fan, you enjoyed the Olympics. You’ll enjoy this.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.