“It’s a thrill to anticipate Sidney Crosby being on the same team as Alex Ovechkin.” – Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick
“Auston Matthews has a chance to be a generational player – as ready‑made a player as we’ve ever had come into the NHL since 1990.” – Pierre McGuire
“The Los Angeles Kings certainly deserve this opportunity – ‘sky’s the limit’ both on and off the ice.” – Eddie Olczyk
“I’ve been in a lot of All‑Star Games, and I can honestly tell you it’s one of my favorite times of the year.” – Jeremy Roenick
2017 NHL All-Star Game – Sunday, January 29 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC
STAMFORD, Conn. – January 25, 2017 – NBC Sports NHL commentators Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire, and Jeremy Roenick, as well as Executive Producer Sam Flood, previewed the upcoming 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend on a media conference call on Tuesday afternoon.
Below are highlights from the call. Click here for the full transcript.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER SAM FLOOD
On the 3-on-3 format: “It is hockey at its best in this format, because there is plenty of room for these stars to skate and play hard. It creates incredible moments across the entire 3‑on‑3 tournament – I can’t wait for it to get started.”
On last year’s inaugural 3-on-3 All-Star Game: “The league itself last year decided to go to the 3‑on‑3 format and change the way All‑Star Games are viewed in this country. This was the best All‑Star Game that’s happened in a professional league in the United States in a very long time. The credit goes to Gary Bettman and his team, who had the foresight and the courage to change the format to 3‑on‑3.”
MIKE ‘DOC’ EMRICK
On potential player combinations: “It’s a thrill to anticipate Crosby being on the same team as Ovechkin…he’ll probably be playing with Malkin. But as you look at combination of forwards and defense, you see all kinds of wonderful opportunities. The coaches will be very polite about it, but basically they’re just going to pair them up and open the door and see what happens, I think.”
On opportunity to showcase young stars on NBC: “Not a lot of people get to see Connor McDavid, Johnny Gaudreau, Patrick Laine, and a lot of these young wonderful stars because they play in the Western part of the country or they play in Canada. Here, the whole country’s going to get to see them, and it’s on over‑the‑air television, which I think is just a tremendous opportunity to show the world what we’ve got.”
On the 3-on-3 format: “There is nowhere to hide when you are playing 3‑on‑3…it is about the individual skill of players being able to create and generate and cause separation because there’s so much more room. That’s what’s made this just an incredible change in the format and getting the excitement back into the All‑Star Game.”
On Los Angeles serving as host: “I was lucky enough to have a cup of coffee for almost six months a long time ago in the city of L.A. – the Los Angeles Kings certainly deserve this opportunity in an obviously historic year for their franchise. It’s going to be a terrific weekend. I think it’s going to be ‘sky’s the limit’ both on and off the ice.”
On American rookie phenom Auston Matthews: “Auston Matthews has a chance to be a generational player – as ready‑made a player as we’ve ever had come into the NHL since 1990…he can win face‑offs, he can kill penalties, he can run your power play, and he can make the wingers around him better.”
On goaltending in the All-Star Game: “One breakaway in a regular-season game is not bad for a goaltender. But when you have three, four, five in a course of ten minutes, which will probably happen, the goaltenders are going to get pretty burned out mentally…the goaltenders just did an unbelievable job last year. They were the MVPs of the game for me.”
On playing in the All-Star Game: “I’ve been in a lot of All‑Star Games, and I can honestly tell you it’s one of my favorite times of the year. It’s such a privilege to be able to play in one of these games. You’re recognized as one of the elite athletes of the world, and especially the best hockey players of the best hockey players…you like to see grace on ice, you like to see speed, and you like to see action. There is nothing better than watching NHL action at its best.”
On the city of Los Angeles: “I’m extremely happy to be going back to L.A. One thing that I’m very happy about is the country is going to see how passionate the L.A. fans really are. They’re a team that doesn’t get too much attention because of where they are. But that stadium is filled every single night with sold out crowds, and it’s one of the loudest buildings that I’ve ever played in.”
Coverage of 2017 NHL All-Star Weekend from Los Angeles, Calif., begins Friday, January 27, at 9 p.m. ET, on NBCSN, with live coverage of the NHL 100, as the league celebrates the 100 greatest NHL players of all time. NBCSN will present live coverage of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, January 28, at 7 p.m. ET, and NBC will televise the 2017 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, January 29, at 3:30 p.m. ET, marking the first time the game will be shown on network television since 2004.