The National Hockey League is holding its annual All-Star game in Nashville this January, and it promises to be a star-studded event on and off the ice. The league announced its guest coaches for the game will be country stars Dierks Bentley, Vince Gill, Chris Young and Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum.
The All-Star game pits the league’s best against each other (well, and one not-so-great player named John Scott that was voted in by the fans as a bit of a joke). The players are divided into four teams representative of the divisions they play in during the regular season: the Pacific, Central (where the Nashville Predators play), Atlantic and Metropolitan.
Each country singer will coach a division alongside a real NHL coach. Given it’s the first time Music City has hosted the game, the selection of country singers makes perfect sense. Hockey is on the rise in Nashville thanks to their team being pretty good (and Carrie Underwood’s husband Mike Fisher plays for the team).
Country music and hockey go together much better than you may think, too. All-Stars Johnny Gaudreau and Matt Duchene are outspoken country music fans, and former NHL great Theo Fleury even released his own country album.
All of the coaches just so happen to be huge hockey fans, too. Bentley was even roommates in college with Stanley Cup-winning goalie Tim Thomas.
Along with coaching, Vince Gill will be part of the entertainment for the two-day event. Others include Jennifer Nettles, Lee Brice and Lennon and Maisy.
The 2016 NHL All-Star weekend begins on January 28th and features a fan fair festival with musical performances and NHL greats meeting with fans. The on-ice action starts January 30th with the skills competition, and the game takes place January 31st. It is, as you may expect, sold out.