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NHL Announces Plans to Launch Players-Only Tournament Next Week

In what’s become a trend among major sport leagues, the National Hockey League today announced plans to launch a players-only tournament featuring NHL athletes from all 31 teams.

NHL Player Gaming Challenge

The event, titled the ‘NHL Player Gaming Challenge’, is in conjunction with ESL Gaming, and will see select players from all 31 teams participating in the event. The event, as part of the NHL’s #HockeyAtHome Initiative, will begin on April 30 and is sponsored by Honda. Each club will be represented by either one two current players, and will be featured in a one-time matchup against in NHL 20 against an opposing team.

In a press release, NHL Vice President of Business Development and Innovation Chris Golier stated, “Over the past several weeks, the NHL, its Clubs and player community have been very active with gaming initiatives in an effort to connect with fans while social distancing – such as charity tournaments, simulated games and nightly streams.” He added, “The NHL Player Gaming Challenge presented by Honda will take gaming to another level. We know how competitive our players are, and coupled with the interaction between players, these series of competitions will be extremely fun to watch.”

As mentioned previously, all 31 teams in the NHL will be represented, as will the NHL Seattle expansion team. Former NFL tight end Luke Willson, who played hockey while growing up in Ontario, will represent the Seattle team.

Here is a full list of all the players participating in the event:

Anaheim Ducks: Cam Fowler

Arizona Coyotes: Conor Garland, Clayton Keller

Boston Bruins: Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy

Buffalo Sabres: Brandon Montour

Calgary Flames: Noah Hanifin, Matthew Tkachuk

Carolina Hurricanes: Warren Foegele

Chicago Blackhawks: Drake Caggiula, Alex DeBrincat

Columbus Blue Jackets: Elvis Merzlikins, Zach Werenski

Colorado Avalanche: J.T. Compher

Dallas Stars: Stephen Johns, Jamie Oleksiak

Detroit Redwings: Madison Bowey, Anthony Mantha

Edmonton Oilers: Caleb Jones, Darnell Nurse

Florida Panthers: Jonathan Huberdeau

Los Angeles Kings: Michael Amadio, Blake Lizotte

Minnesota Wild: Devan Dubnyk, Jordan Greenway

Montreal Canadiens: Victor Mete, Nick Suzuki

Nashville Predators: Filip Forsberg

New Jersey Devils: Mackenzie Blackwood

New York Islanders: Matt Martin

New York Rangers: Chris Kreider

NHL Seattle: Luke Willson, Seattle Seahawks (NFL)

Ottawa Senators: Brady Tkachuk, Chris Tierney

Philadelphia Flyers: James van Riemsdyk

Pittsburgh Penguins: Zach Aston-Reese, Bryan Rust

San Jose Sharks: Evander Kane, Marcus Sorensen

St Louis Blues: Colton Parayko, Robert Thomas

Tampa Bay Lightning: Tyler Johnson

Toronto Maple Leafs: Zach Hyman

Vancouver Canucks: Thatcher Demko, Adam Gaudette

Vegas Golden Knights: Ryan Reaves, Alex Tuch

Washington Capitals: Evgeny Kuznetsov

Winnipeg Jets: Anthony Bitetto, Kyle Connor

In conjunction with the event, the NHL also announced that the National Hockey League Foundation and EA will donate a combined $100,000 to the CDC Foundation’s coronavirus relief efforts.

The event will begin on April 30 with the first series of games, including Calgary vs. Winnipeg and Ottawa vs. Columbus, and those game will air on NBCSN in the United States at 5 PM EST. Games will be aired every Thursday and Saturday in the U.S. on NBCSN throughout the duration of the event. In Canada, hockey fans can check out the action on Sportsnet ONE, as select games will be aired over consecutive weeks, starting on May 1 at 4 PM EST. Games from the event will also be aired on the NHL Network and Twitch.



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