By Mai-Lan Bui, February 11 2024—
The 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend took place from Feb. 1 to 3 in Toronto, marking the ninth time the bustling Canadian city has hosted the event. Here are the memorable moments from the event:
The All-Star festivities kicked off with the NHL Alumni Man of the Year presented to the 1967 Maple Leafs team. Following that, the highly anticipated NHL All-Star Draft unfolded, featuring celebrity captains Michael Bublé with Team Hughes, Justin Bieber with Team Matthews, Tate McRae with Team MacKinnon and Will Arnett with Team McDavid. The draft showcased the banter and camaraderie among the players that fans rarely see during the regular season. The final draft concluded after minor microphone technical difficulties and Michael Buble’s memorable chattiness. It was followed by a three-on-three PWHL showcase and a victory for Team King.
Day one closed with a private party hosted by the Toronto Maple Leafs team and Drewhouse, featuring a surprise performance by Justin Bieber, his first public show since he cancelled his world tour in 2022.
After last year’s lacklustre skills competition, the NHL and Connor McDavid revamped the 2024 edition of the skill competition, ensuring that each challenge highlighted the players’ skills and competitiveness while being entertaining. The competition was held in three rounds, with players earning points to make it through each round. The first round featured similar contests seen in previous years, comprising six categories. Colorado Avalanche teammates Cale Makar and Nathan MacKinnon won the hardest shot and one-timers categories, respectively. Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson won the passing challenge with 25 points. Connor McDavid won the stickhandling and accuracy shooting categories, securing his fourth win in the fastest skater category and solidifying himself as the all-time leader in victories for that title.
Round two showed the inaugural one-on-one challenge. The advancing players had to score as many goals as possible against the goalie of their choice in a minute-long contest, turning a straightforward task into a challenging feat and leaving the players fatigued. William Nylander won this round, netting nine points against Cam Talbot. The goalies also had a $100,000 incentive to tend the goal, and Alexandar Georgiev came out victorious with the monetary prize.
For the first time, the third and final round of the skills competition featured a timed obstacle course. McDavid won the last round of the skills competition, winning the overall 2024 skills competition with the $1 million prize.
The weekend closed with the anticipated all-star game, beginning with a pregame warm-up as celebrity captain Justin Bieber took to the ice to join the players. Team MacKinnon faced off against Team McDavid, followed by Team Hughes against Team Matthews, and both games coincidentally ended in a shootout where Team McDavid and Team Matthews turned out victorious.
Celebrity captain Tate McRae, Calgary’s only representative, headlined the second intermission with performances of her top hits such as “Exes” and “Greedy”. Finally, Team Matthews won 7-4 in the final game, and team captain Auston Matthews won the MVP All-Star title.
The debate on NHL players’ personalities or lack thereof persists, but fans watched their favourite players in a more lighthearted atmosphere doing what they do best this weekend, reigniting their passion for the sport. Fans also recognize and appreciate the massive improvements the NHL made for this year’s All-Star event. With the recent announcement of the 4 Nations tournament scheduled for February 2025, this marks the last occurrence of the All-Star in its current format.