Florida's 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend could feature alligators

An alligator prowls the waters in the Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida. (Robert F. Bukaty/AP)

The NHL All-Star Game is in Florida this season and the man in charge of bringing it to life wants you to consider this idea: alligators and meat pucks.

Steve Mayer, the NHL's chief content officer, says the event in Fort Lauderdale will be a very Florida-centric event, a marriage of beach and ice, and potentially one of the area's most famous local animals.

"In Florida we're taking over the beach," Mayer told Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek during their 32 Thoughts podcast. (The topic comes up around the 23-minute mark.) "We're literally taking over all the Fort Lauderdale Beach. We're going to do concerts, we're going to do fanfare, which is typically in a convention centre. We're going to do it all on the sand."

Mayer said that, as with last year's All-Star Game in Las Vegas, the NHL would have some events done outside, like the shooting contest that took place in the middle of the Fountains of Bellagio.

"We've got a couple of extremely unique ideas," Mayer said. "One is a work in progress, that if we pull it off, I think our fans will talk about it for a long time. It involves something that is very Florida, something that is that area, but not beach necessarily. How is that for a clue? And it involves an animal."

Pressed further by Friedman and Marek, Mayer said: "Put it this way ... I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate alligators into our outside event, and we're getting there."

Marek then suggested a moat, while Friedman asked if this would involve shooting pucks into an alligator's mouth.

"How about if it was a meat puck?" Mayer said.

"I don't want to get into the details," Mayer said. "Put it this way, Elliotte is much closer than Jeff.

"We want to have some fun with this. ... That's the direction we're heading."

The event will take place Feb. 3-4, 2023.

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