The format for selection of teams for the NHL All-Star team changed in the 2010-11 season, in an attempt to bring the fantasy sports aesthetic into the annual hockey event. Prior to last season, teams for the All-Star Game were divided based on the Conference of the All-Star player's team, as is customary in all other All-Star games for the rest of the major North American sports. Now, however, captains and alternates are voted on by the All-Star selections themselves, after which there is a roster draft by the two captains.
This year, the telecast of the All-Star roster draft was carried by NBC on Thursday, Jan. 26. The telecast originated from Ottowa, ON, the site of the 2012 All-Star Game proper. Captains Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins and Daniel Alfredsson of the "hometown" Ottowa Senators made their team selections, but the audience tuning in was not as large as NBC may have hoped.
According to Stevelepore of Puck the Media, the ratings were down 35% from last year in the United States. Although 1.6 million viewers watched the draft, only 408,000 of those viewers were watching on NBC in the US. This number is down from 624,000 in 2011, although this may have something to do with the fact that last year's draft took place on a Friday.
For full coverage of the 2012 NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa, check in with our StoryStream.