The NHL all-star game will be held this weekend, an annual event in which the best players in the league meet and compete in a weekend tournament. While some fans would rather stick to the usual Hockey Night in Canada schedule, the all-star games have produced some truly great moments over the years. Have a look back at some of the highlights.
Maurice Richard vs. Gordie Howe (1951)
Proper fights are not a common occurrence at the All-Star games. Usually if there’s a scrap, it’s all in good fun between a couple players trying to give the crowd a show. It’s unclear if there was real anger behind this rumble, but it certainly would have been a rare sight to see. In the first All-Star game to end in a tie, these two legends came to blow on the ice. You’ve got to admire when the superstars are willing to get their hands dirty.
Howe takes a bow (1980)
The 32nd all-star game was significant for the fact that it was the very first all-star appearance from Wayne Gretzky, but it will forever be remembered as the final all-star appearance of Gordie Howe. It was Mr. Hockey’s 23rd time at the game with is an amazing feat in itself and in a special moment, the game which were played on Howe’s home rink in Detriot, he was introduce last and was given a lengthy standing ovation.
Wayne Gretzky puts on a clinic (1983)
Seeing as Gretzky was all about breaking scoring records, he seemed a little tame at the 35th games, having not put the puck in the net for the first two periods. Then came the 3rd period. The Great One earned his nickname scoring a whopping 4 goals in the period and setting a record for the games which has yet to be broken.
Mario Lemieux makes his presence known (1988)
While Gretzky put on a show in the third period in 1983, Lemieux was an undeniable force for the full from puck drop to the final buzzer in 1988. He factored in to every single of the 6 goals his team put on the board, and if that weren’t enough, he even put in the OT winner.
Owen Nolan calls it (1997)
The all-star game is an opportunity to assemble the best players in the game and have them put their considerable skills on display. Needless to say, there’s a fair bit of showmanship. Perhaps the best and most memorable example is Owen Nolan calling his shot as he scored a hat-trick. It takes a lot of guts to do something like that, but pulling it off is priceless.
A whole lot of goals (2001)
With this many world class players on the ice, the all-star games have always been a little more high scoring than the average NHL game. However, nothing can come close in comparison to this 2001 match-up that saw a staggering 26 goals scored, with a final score of 14-12.
John Scott (2016)
A real Hollywood moment took place at the last year’s games, and you couldn’t have picked a more satisfying ending. After being named to the all-star team via fan voting, the NHL pushed back against John Scott’s involvement as his skill level was below the other all-stars. After fan back-lash, the league relented and added Scott to the roster. He ended up scoring two goals and was named MVP.