NHL All-Stars enjoying Vegas, ready to display their talent at T-Mobile Arena

NHL All-Star weekend kicked off on Thursday with the opening of the NHL Fan Fair, and continued Friday with the NHL Skills Competition.
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 4:38 PM PST
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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- NHL All-Star weekend kicked off on Thursday with the opening of the NHL Fan Fair, and continued Friday with the NHL Skills Competition. However, before the leagues best showed off their talent at T-Mobile Arena, they caught up with FOX5.

The Waldorf Astoria was home to the 2022 NHL All-Star Media Day, where there were plenty of stars and smiles. Most players kept the subject on hockey, while others were more interested in their latest golf game.

“It was fun, it was a little cold for Vegas yesterday, I’m not used to these conditions, I’m used to playing when it’s 110 degrees outside,” said Toronto Maple Leafs superstar, Auston Matthews. “It was fun, we had a good time.”

Vegas is always a good time, unless your name is Jack Hughes. The New Jersey Devils centerman is the youngest player on the All-Star rosters who doesn’t turn 21 for another three months.

“I mean, what am I going to do,” asked Hughes. “Couple months later I’ll be 21. It’s funny, 21 like everything is here. Vegas is 21, but it’s good.”

There were plenty of familiar faces sitting up on the podiums, like perennial All-Stars Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitil, Steven Stamkos, as well as first time All-Star and former Golden Knights draft pick, Nick Suzuki.

“A few people have come up to me and said that they wish I was still here, or how’d I like my time in Vegas here,” explained Suzuki. “It’s definitely a special hockey town, they’ve done a great job with the team and the organization and the fans have really rallied around them. It’s a cool place to come back and play, being drafted by the organization, it’s always fun coming back here.”

One of the major topics throughout the morning, was the fact that NHL players won’t be going to the Beijing Olympics. However, some explained because they won’t be representing their countries, it makes the NHL All-Star game in Vegas, that much more important.

“To be able to do this and showcase our game again, it’s a lot of fun,” said Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman, Victor Hedman. “Arguably most of us wanted to go to Beijing after this, but it didn’t happen, but to be here to represent our organization means a lot for us, so it will be a lot of fun.”

The Golden Knights had three representatives on Media Day: Pete DeBoer, Alex Pietrangelo, and Mark Stone. Jonathan Marchessault, who was added to the All-Star roster this past week, was not made available.

The Vegas bench boss will be coaching an All-Star game for the second time in his 14-year NHL career, while this will be the third appearance for defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

“Interacting with players or coaches, or people I’ve never met before. Maybe some guys I haven’t seen since I played World Juniors with them, way long ago. That part to me is kind of cool, to catch up with guys,” explained Pietrangelo. “If guys have their kids, get to seem them in the locker room, that’s the fun part for me. The game is what it is, but off the ice getting to meet guys that maybe at some point you’ll cross paths with at some point in your career. We have a lot in common around here, I’m excited to see guys I haven’t seen in a while.”

“To be able to have one in the town you’re coaching in, you’re hometown, 20 minutes from your house, in front of your home fans is something that is really once in a lifetime, that all those things come together, so I’m just trying to enjoy the moment,” said DeBoer.

No one may be enjoying this moment more than the Golden Knights captain.

“This is probably going to be one of the cooler things I’ll do in my career,” explained Stone. “To be part of the All-Star game in Vegas, in the home city I play in with the best fans in the world, it’s going to be awesome.”