The National Hockey League has figured out a way to stir up interest in its 2011 All-Star Weekend; unfortunately, it won’t be for the game itself, but rather, team selection day on Friday.

Following a fan vote for the top six players in the league (three forwards, two defencemen and a goalie, regardless of which conference they play in) the NHL Hockey Operations Department will name 36 more players. That’s when things get weird:

¢ After the 42 NHL All-Stars have been selected, two captains will be chosen per team by the players.

¢ On Friday, January 28, 2011, a draft event will be held in Raleigh with all 54 NHL players (42 All-Stars and 12 rookies) during which the captains will draft the remaining members of their respective teams.

¢ First selection in the draft will be determined by coin flip and selections will continue on an alternating basis.

¢ Each team will be required to select three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards in any order they choose.

Seems to me that it would be a lot more entertaining if this happened right before the game, in true pick-up/shinny style. There’s nothing all that interesting about, say, Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan and Philadelphia’s Mike Richards being All-Star teammates. In fact, it’s more interesting (albeit only marginally so) to see hated conference and division rivals play together.

But to watch, say All-Star captain Sidney Crosby point at Richards, or pass up a Penguins teammate for a member of the Capitals? That should be good for at least 20 minutes of entertainment (which is 20 minutes more than any All-Star Game), and would be more so if it didn’t happen in a draft/press conference environment.

(Info via Puck Daddy.)

(Update: Eric McErlain, then of Fanhouse, foresaw it all.)