The 60th NHL all-star game is set for Sunday in Columbus, Ohio. A quick break in regular season action provides an opportunity to relive some of the all-star weekend’s most memorable moments.
From all-time greats flailing their fists to Owen Nolan’s called shot, here are the best moments from the NHL all-star game and the weekend’s festivities.
Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe fight in 1951
The fifth all-star game in 1951 was a chippy affair that ended in a 2-2 tie. Take that, 2002 MLB All-Star Game. The game saw several superstars mix it up, including Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard throwing some fist at one another.
Gilbert Perreault scores first-ever all-star game OT winner
Buffalo Sabres great Gilbert Perreault made history at the 31st edition of the game, which was held at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. Perreault scored in sudden-death overtime to give the Wales Conference a 3-2 win. It was the first OT winner in all-star game history.
Detroit says farewell to Gordie Howe
The 32nd all-star game at Joe Louis Arena gave Detroit hockey fans a chance to say farewell to Gordie Howe, who made his 23rd and final appearance. It was also the all-star game debut for another future Hall of Famer, Wayne Gretzky.
Wayne Gretzky scores four
Gretzky, as was his custom in the 1980s, set an all-star record for most goals scored on Feb. 8, 1983 in Long Island. The Great One scored four third-period goals to set a record for most goals in an all-star game. He also took home his first MVP award for his efforts.
Mario Lemieux’s six points
Mario Lemieux took centre stage for the 39th all-star in St. Louis, Missouri. Lemieux factored in on all six Wale Conference goals, scoring the OT winner himself, to set a record for most points in a single game. His three goals and three assists earned him MVP honours.
Madhouse salutes the troops
One of the loudest arenas to ever house a hockey game, Chicago Stadium, served as the home for the 42nd all-star game in 1991. With troops deployed to the Middle East for Operation Desert Storm, the fans at the Madhouse showed their support by raining down an unforgettable chorus of cheers during the singing of the national anthem.
Owen Nolan calls his shot
If the all-star game is all about showmanship then there may not be a more relevant example than Owen Nolan calling his shot in 1997. Nolan, then with the San Jose Sharks, wowed the hometown crowd when he completed a hat trick after calling his shot on Dominik Hasek.
Selanne’s hat trick
Teemu Selanne highlighted the NHL’s foray into the short-lived North America vs. The World format in 1998 by netting a hat trick and claiming MVP honours. The North American side won the game 8-7 but TEEMU FOREVER.
North America and The World combine for 26 goals
All-star games of the modern era are generally high-scoring affairs. No game, however, saw as many goals scored as the 51st contest in Denver, Colorado in 2001. North America and The World combined to score 26 goals, with Bill Guerin taking the MVP award thanks to his three goals and five points.
Heatley’s four goals
The 53rd all-star game in Sunrise, Florida was a showcase of Dany Heatley. Heatley scored four goals and added the East’s only shootout marker in a 6-5 loss. Despite coming out on the losing end, Heatley was named MVP.
Nice guys finish last
2011 was the first year of the fantasy draft format for team selection. Toronto Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel played the role of the NHL’s version of Mr. Irrelevant, being selected last. Although he was the subject of some mockery at the hands of Alex Ovechkin, Kessel walked away with a new car and $20,000 to go to charity.
Best of the skills competition
Of course, any look at the best of All-Star Weekend would not be complete without some of the most memorable moments from the skills competition.
From Ray Bourque’s accuracy shooting to Patrick Kane’s Superman shootout attempt, here is the best of the skills competition.