Then biggest stars of the NHL will be hosted by the Vegas Golden Knights for the first time ever at T-Mobile Arena. The 2022 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend begins on Friday, February 4. NHL All-Stars will show off their speed, skill, accuracy, and physical strength to fans on day one. And, continuing into Saturday, February 5th will be a fast paced, three game, 3-on-3 tournament featuring the best players in the league. Big names and popular faces will be joining in on the fun to bring entertainment that will have the crowd on the edge of their seats. Here’s what to expect.
A Brief History of The NHL All-Star Game
Before the first official All-Star game was held during the 1947-48 season, the NHL hosted benefit games; the first one being for Ace Bailey. Bailey was hit from behind by Boston’s Eddie Shore causing him to flip over and hit his head on the ice so hard that he was assumed dead. Fortunately he survived with a fractured skull which did although manage to end his career. As a benefit for Bailey and his family, the NHL held its first ever All-Star game on February 14, 1934. The Toronto Maple Leafs hosted a game against an All-Star team comprised of players from the other seven teams in the league. Bailey’s jersey was retired, making it the first number to be retired in the NHL, and benefit games/ All-Star games were born.
Fast forward to 1947, the first official NHL All-Star game took place. Up until 1968 the Stanley Cup champions would take on the best players from the other clubs. In 1969 the format changed to geographic locations. The Wales/Easter Conference All-Stars would play against the Campbell/Western Conference All-Stars. This format also gave fans an opportunity to be part of the game by allowing them to vote for the starting line-up and starting goaltender based on the team’s roster which was chosen by the NHL.
However, the league took a hiatus from this format from 1998-2002 due to the Winter Olympics. During this five year period the All-Star team consisted of North American players against hockey stars from the rest of the world. Then, during the 2010-11 season the NHL announced another change to the way that teams were selected. This format was modeled after fantasy sports drafts. A player draft was conducted by the All-Star players themselves to create each teams roster. The NHL Hockey Operations Department and fan balloting put players into a combined pool which the captains of each team would then select from. This lasted through 2015, bringing us to the way it’s run today.
For the 2016 game it was decided that there would be a single-elimination tournament. Instead of two teams and one game there are now four teams from the leagues four divisions. The games are three vs. three with a three-round shootout if it ends in a tie, adding on more rounds if necessary to determine a winner. The winners move on to the All-Star Game Final. However, now with the All-Star Skills Competition is in place, one alteration has been made. The division that wins the competition gets to choose which team they play against first in the semifinals.
All-Star Skills and All-Star Entertainment
Hosting the weekend from the Las Vegas Strip will be Canadian comedy star Gerry Dee, ESPN analyst Kevin Weekes and reporter Laura Rutledge.
Presented by DraftKings Sportsbook, the Friday festivities will kick-off with performances of the Canadian and U.S. national anthems by Lynnae Meyers and Carnell Johnson, anthem singers for the Golden Knights. The color guard for both days will include members of the Las Vegas Local 1285 Honor Guard. Participating in the All-Star Skills Competitions will be the New York Rangers Chris Kreider, Toronto Maple Leafs Jack Campbell, three-time Olympic medalist Jocelyne Lamourex-Davidson, women’s hockey pioneer Manon Rheaume, Pittsburgh Penguins Jake Guentzel and many many more. The seven events taking place are:
- Verizon NHL Fastest Skater
- Dunkin’ NHL Save Streak
- Discover NHL Fountain Face-Off (new)
- EA SPORTS NHL Hardest Shot
- adidas NHL Breakaway Challenge
- Las Vegas NHL 21 in ’22 (new)
- Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting
All of these events will be judged by celebrities including Emmy Award-winning actor Jon Hamm, famed singer, comedian, ventriloquist and headliner at New York-New York Hotel and Casino Terry Fator, and hockey legends Paul Coffey and Mark Messier. The individual winner from each event will earn $30,000.
As for the infamous All-Star Game to occur on Saturday, February 5th, Machine Gun Kelly and Zedd will be bringing the hype. But, before we talk about them, the anthem ceremony will be taken over by singer-songwriter Faouzia and multi-platinum singer-songwriter Blanco Brown. Faouzia will perform “O Canada” and Blanco Brown will follow up with his rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The multi-platinum, GRAMMY Award-winning artist/DJ/producer will open the game with a performance during player introductions. In the second intermission will be a performance from the multi-platinum recording artist, MGK, who was announced as the entertainment headliner.