LOS ANGELES — There still is no announced site for the National Hockey League All-Star Game next year, or even confirmation that there will be one. It is contingent on whether the league agrees to send its players to the Olympics, and there is nothing new on that, either.
Commissioner Gary Bettman said there was “only 10 seconds of discussion” about the issue at a brief Board of Governors meeting Saturday morning. Many players here for the All-Star Game said they would like to represent their countries at PyeongChang, Korea, but team owners, Bettman said, are concerned about a long disruption in the schedule and the possibility players could be injured (John Tavares missed the remainder of the Islanders season after the 2014 Games).
NHL goes Hollywood
Organizers of the All-Star weekend in Los Angeles were determined to give it a Hollywood flair. That was clear with Justin Bieber, Cuba Gooding Jr. and other stars playing alongside all-time greats in a celebrity exhibition Saturday night. Snoop Dogg was the DJ as players took the ice before the skills competition. Among the presenters at the ceremony honoring the NHL’s 100 Greatest All-Time players Friday night, along with emcee Jon Hamm (Don Draper on “Mad Men”) were Michael J. Fox and Alyssa Milano. The latter is a diehard Kings fan who once dated then-Islander Wayne McBean.
Kane in awe
Patrick Kane of the Blackhawks was both honored and awestruck when he was recognized among the 100 Greatest Friday. “Steve Yzerman, it’s amazing, talking to him, how classy a guy he is. Marcel Dionne is just a big ball of energy,” he said. “Joe Sakic was awesome to talk to, Brian Leetch was awesome to talk to. I talked to Pat LaFontaine for 10-15 minutes, we talked about USA Hockey. A couple of jokes with Bobby and Brett Hull, which were pretty funny. I met Mario Lemieux for the first time, and Phil Esposito.”
A highlight of highlights for the Buffalo native was being on stage with Sabres great Gil Perreault. “I kind of felt a little uncomfortable,” Kane said. “But I had to get him to sign a picture for my dad. I think my dad was ecstatic.”