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NHL includes Twitter in All-Star voting, lets fans pick 12 players

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The NHL is incorporating Twitter activity into All-Star voting this season.

Fans will choose a dozen of the 44 players that will suit up for the festivities in Sunrise, Florida, next month, and the league will factor tweets into the equation, NHL chief marketing officer Heidi Browning told ESPN's Emily Kaplan.

The league's hockey operations department has already chosen 32 All-Stars, who'll be revealed Thursday night. The NHL is opening the voting Wednesday for the remaining players - two skaters and a goaltender from each of the four divisions - for both the All-Star Game and the skills competition.

Twitter voting will be combined with the standard online selection procedure and incorporate tweets mentioning a player's name or handle while using the official All-Star hashtag, as well as retweets, replies, and quote tweets.

The 12 remaining players are likely to be unveiled Jan. 19, just over two weeks before the skills event on Feb. 3.

Last season, fans selected the four divisional team captains and the four "Last Men In."

Former enforcer John Scott got an All-Star nod and ultimately claimed MVP honors in 2016 after the "Marek vs. Wyshynski" podcast supported his candidacy with a tongue-in-cheek online campaign. The NHL changed the process following that saga to limit the fans' influence over voting.

The retired forward couldn't help but make reference to that incident Wednesday:

The NHL's first modern All-Star debacle came in 2007 when fans rallied behind journeyman defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick, who had no points in 18 games at the time. Fitzpatrick finished third among blue-liners with around 23,000 fewer votes than Nicklas Lidstrom and approximately 116,000 more than Chris Pronger. It likely happened because fans were encouraged to vote as many times as they liked that year.

The Florida Panthers will host the All-Star festivities for the first time since 2003. The NHL awarded the event to Sunrise in 2021 but later canceled it due to the COVID-19 pandemic and gave the 2022 edition to the Vegas Golden Knights.

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