Adding a night to the All-Star Weekend was primarily driven by the player draft, according to Mayer. However, the NHL also considered the potential involvement of the NHL Alumni and the PWHL.
Each year, the NHL Alumni presents the Keith Magnuson Man of the Year award to a former NHL player who has translated the intangibles of perseverance, commitment, and teamwork from the game into a successful post-career transition. This year, the award ceremony will honor the ’67 Maple Leafs and will be called the NHL Alumni Man of the Year.
The PWHL, established this year as the premier women’s pro league in the world, is set to kick off its inaugural season in January, with teams in Boston, Minnesota, Montreal, New York, Ottawa, and Toronto. The Canadian Tire PWHL 3-on-3 Showcase will feature a group of elite players.
“One thing led to the next, which led to the next, and suddenly we looked at an incredible lineup of events,” Mayer explained. “There’s something for everyone. Our players will be involved, as will the great players of the new women’s league and our alumni. And in Toronto, there are no more popular players than the ’67 Leafs.
So, I think in the end, this is going to be an incredible and memorable night, and something that we hope will become a permanent part of our All-Star Weekend,” Mayer added.
The NHL All-Star Game is going back to its origins. Maple Leaf Gardens hosted an all-star game in 1934 as a benefit for Maple Leafs forward Ace Bailey after a career-ending injury. The first official NHL All-Star Game took place there in 1947.
This will mark the ninth NHL All-Star Game in Toronto, but the first since 2000.
“I’m thrilled for the city of Toronto to host,” expressed Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan. “We want everyone to be our guest and to feel deeply connected to the sport of hockey, which is incredibly important to the people here.”
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