The captains for next month's NHL All-Star Game in San Jose are set.
Each of those four captains will represent one of the NHL's divisions. Toronto's Auston Matthews (Atlantic), Washington's Alex Ovechkin (Metropolitan), Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon (Central) and Edmonton's Connor McDavid (Pacific) were elected as captains through the 2019 NHL All-Star Fan Vote.
None of these captain picks are particularly surprising given the seasons that they're having and their status as league superstars. It's worth nothing that it's a particularly young group of leaders this year; Ovechkin, 33, is the only representative over the age of 23.
While fans got to choose the four captains for each team, the league's hockey operations department will select most of the remaining 40 players (10 from each division) for the game, as usual. Each team will be made up of six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders. For the first time this year, fans will also get to choose the "last man in" on each team.
With so much talent packed throughout the league, the NHL's hockey ops department will have a tough task in filling out the rest of the rosters. There will undoubtedly be plenty of fans and players disappointed over perceived snubs as the All-Star rosters are announced in the coming weeks.
The league aims to include at least one representative from each of the league's 31 teams, the top 10 to 15 league scorers at the time of selection, as many marketed "stars" as possible, and several players from the host team (this year: the San Jose Sharks).
As has been the case over the past few years, the All-Star Game will be played in the format of a 3-on-3 tournament, with each of the four league divisions having their own team. The Metropolitan and Atlantic Division will play a 20-minute game, followed by a 20-minute game between the Central and Pacific Divisions. The winners of those two games will meet in a championship game (also 20 minutes) with the winning team splitting a $1 million cash prize.