A look at the business behind one of the most successful sports franchises in North America
The “nhl all star all access” is a behind the scenes look at the NHL All Star Game. This show gives viewers an exclusive look into what goes on during the game.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Joe Pavelski of the Dallas Stars stood 35 feet away from his goal, peering into the chilly air. He took a shot after slapping the puck with his stick. It’s not aimed towards the goaltender. Not even upon scoring a goal. The ace of diamonds, which the puck penetrated like a dart on a giant playing card.
Pavelski yelled, “Ace!” to the four other NHL players with whom he was competing.
The players were standing in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard, which had been closed for two hours so Joe Pavelski could shoot a bright red puck at a rack of 52 cards. To their left, the Eiffel Tower was lighted. The sun began to drop behind the casinos on their right as the day progressed. The walkways were guarded by showgirls dressed in feathery costumes.
The NHL did something it had never done before on Thursday night, staging two All-Star Game skills competitions outside: the “Las Vegas NHL 21 in ’22,” which shut down the Vegas Strip for street hockey blackjack, and the “Discover NHL Fountain Face-Off,” in which players were transported by boat to a platform in the middle of the Bellagio fountains for a timed shooting accuracy competition.
As she stared at the stages and cameras, a stranger said, “What movie are they filming here?”
Her inquiry turned out to be more pertinent than she had anticipated: Along with being the first outdoor activities in NHL All-Star history, Thursday night was also the first time the NHL recorded skills contests prior to the event, which was held the night before the All-Star Game.
On Thursday, Steve Mayer, the NHL’s chief content officer and the architect behind these spectacles, said, “We’re never going to pretend it’s live, but for some folks, it could seem like we really did walk down to the Strip during the event.”
Pavelski and Columbus Blue Jackets defender Zach Werenski attended the T-Mobile Arena skills competition on Friday night after winning events the day before. On the closed Strip, Pavelski won the “NHL 21 in ’22” challenge, while Werenski won the “NHL Fountain Face-Off.” Their outdoor victories were edited together in a marathon session and broadcast during NHL All-Star Skills Competition pauses when the ice needed to be treated.
Werenski remarked, “I don’t believe any of us understood what to anticipate since it’s never been done before.”
After Thursday night, news of their victories was kept fairly quiet. How did the NHL manage to pull off something so massive while maintaining a veil of secrecy?
The solution entails painstaking preparation, extensive testing, and around 20 frogmen.
The NHL has long utilized its All-Star Weekend as a platform for bold ideas. That has included the game’s structure, such as “North America vs. The World,” the player-led fantasy draft, and the current 3-on-3 tournament. Getting creative with its skills competition events has more frequently meant goaltender races, a hockey version of “Top Golf,” and a trick-shot challenge that has included anything from players using two sticks to players costumed as Superman and Chewbacca.
Mayer recognized the league had an opportunity to truly push the boundaries with the 2022 All-Star Game in Las Vegas. As early as the summer of 2021, he started preparing an effort at outdoor activities.
The Bellagio fountains have previously served as a location for the league. Panic! At the 2018 Stanley Cup Final! During Game 5 between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Washington Capitals, At The Disco played on a stage in the water. The next logical step appeared to be to hold one of the skills competition events on the lake.
Closing Las Vegas Boulevard in front of the Bellagio was the best logistical choice for the other event after several prospective sites, including the famous “Welcome To Las Vegas” sign, were explored. Cameras and other gear might be set up on the sidewalk to shoot the street card game before swinging around for the fountain event.
The NHL presented its proposals to local authorities, having assessed the amount of time it would take to bring everything in place and disassemble it. They decided on a two-hour period during which the famous Strip would be closed to allow hockey’s version of blackjack to take place.
“We’re on the Strip, but it’s closed. There are no automobiles in sight. It simply seems like a huge deal to me “Mayer said.
On Friday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, the NHL All-Star Weekend kicks off with the Skills Competition. The All-Star Game will be televised live on ABC and ESPN+ on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. ET.
• NHL Fan Skills at Home challenge • Sign up for ESPN+ • More on the All-Star Game
Nashville Predators defenseman Roman Josi, Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux, Seattle Kraken winger Jordan Eberle, Vegas Golden Knights winger Mark Stone, Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki, Team USA gold medalist Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson, and Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau shot first.
The NHL projected the event’s logo and each player’s name onto a misty screen formed by the fountains in the backdrop. The projectionist had to alter the text size for the names, which caused some delays. It was simple to place “Mark Stone” on the mist; putting “Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson” and “Jonathan Huberdeau” on there seemed to be more difficult.
Huberdeau is one of the top puck movers and scorers in the NHL, but he missed his first two shots. While this was undoubtedly aggravating for him, it was reassuring for his rivals.
“It relieved some of the strain at that moment. I simply didn’t want to be the last one standing “According to Werenski.
Some of their bullets would hit the target and then bounce back out. A few went straight into the sea, the puck’s crimson light slowly fading into the depths. Suzuki’s effort was one of the most famous, with the puck skipping above the water like a stone despite missing the goal.
Werenski and Josi had the quickest times after the opening round. The other contestants boarded the barge and sailed back to the “Bat Cave,” leaving just the two blueliners to compete in the final round.
The NHL had said that the fountains would be a difficulty for the contestants, and this was shown in the final round. Werenski and Josi competed in a full-fledged Bellagio fountain performance, with massive jets of water cascading down in a thundering boom, rather than a delicate veil of mist.
“That, I believe, was the most exciting part. When the massive fountains went off, and how loud they were, it was incredible “According to Werenski.
Is there anything louder than the cannons used during Columbus Blue Jackets games?
“No. That’s a tough one to beat. However, it was a near call “he said
On a cool evening, the players could also feel the water’s spray, which wasn’t ideal. “We’d been out for an hour at that time, and we were both trembling from the cold,” Josi said.
Werenski performed well in the last round. Josi was having a hard time. It didn’t help that one of the pucks didn’t light up when he touched it. “I was becoming jittery. ‘C’mon, c’mon!’ I exclaimed “Josi said.
Werenski had won, and while the fountains splashed behind him, he was performing a winner’s circle interview.
“At any time, you may skate the quickest skater lap. You have complete freedom to fire at targets anytime you want “Zach Werenski expressed his thoughts. “However, I’ll never again shoot pucks in the Bellagio fountains.” ESPN/Greg Wyshynski
Mayer and his team were just getting started editing the tape into 10- to 12-minute pieces for the next night’s skills competition show. It was 8 p.m. “I know it’ll be a long night editing,” he said, “but I hope it’ll turn out well.”
NHL workers, including a diver, started collecting the stray pucks at the Bellagio. The sidewalk barriers were taken down. Photo chances with Batman, Deadpool, and two “S.W.A.T. troopers” drew the attention of fans.
The NHL’s most ambitious talent contests have come to an end. Their victors walked away with $30,000 and the knowledge that they had just made history in both the All-Star Game and hockey in Las Vegas.
“I’m not sure we realized how big of a deal it was until we heard the tales. The Strip has only ever been closed for a few movies or late-night events “Pavelski said.
“At any time, you may skate the quickest skater lap. You have complete freedom to fire at targets anytime you choose “According to Werenski. “However, I’ll never again shoot pucks in the Bellagio fountains.”
The NHL All-Star Game is a great event to watch. It’s also interesting to see how the players prepare for their games and what goes on behind the scenes. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the things that happen in the days leading up to an All-Star game. Reference: nhl games tomorrow.
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