8. Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard (1951) – Old time hockey, boys. A game which ended in a 2-2 tie, turned out to be a chippy battle. Back then, the pride of winning an ASG was more important than having fun. This was on display when Gordie Howe and Maurice Richard, two future Hall of Famers, dropped the gloves and fought.
7. History repeats itself (2015) – NHL Superstar, Phil Kessel, has become a friendly whipping boy among fans and players. From the time he was selected last overall in the 2011 ASG draft, to his “bad breath” interview with Pierre McGuire, to his countless soundbites in Toronto, Kessel has always been a character to laugh at/with. Team Foligno proudly brought attention to Phil Kessel by announcing a trade during the 2015 All-Star Game draft – Kessel for Seguin – two names that have forever been linked ever since Brian Burke brought Kessel to Toronto from Boston in exchange for a 2nd overall pick, which turned out to be Tyler Seguin.
6. Owen Nolan (1997) – Nolan was one of the most talented power forwards of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, accumulating 885 points, 1793 PIMs, in 1200 NHL games. But the Ireland-born, former 1st overall pick might best be remembered for his hometown All-Star game in 1997, when he brought the San Jose Sharks fans to their feet by pointing to the top right hand corner on a breakaway before firing the the puck over the shoulder of Dominik Hasek.
5. Zdeno Chara (2012) – One of the most exciting parts of All-Star weekend, the hardest shot competition, where selected players get to exert their energy in a competition of strength. Back in the day when Blackberry was still making phones, Chara showed the world that he’s not only the tallest player in the NHL, but also has the hardest shot of all time! Chara set the NHL record of 108.8 mph… wouldn’t want to be blocking shots on the PK against him!
4. Passing on the torch (1980) – As one chapter was ending, a new one was beginning. Even though it was tough for fans to say goodbye to Gordie Howe during his final ASG, they had no idea what the future held in store for them, as Wayne Gretzky was introduced for the first time as an NHL All-Star. Mr. Hockey (Gordie Howe – but I’m sure you knew that) was widely considered one of the best hockey players ever, and still is, according to Wayne Gretzky. 1980 will go down as one of the most iconic ASGs of all time.
3. Kessel being selected last in the All-Star draft (2011) – Long gone are the All-Star games which would feature the best respective players from the Campbell conference VS Wales Conference. In 2011, the NHL introduced a new format for selecting teams, where three designated captains from each team would hold a selection draft of the voted-in All-Stars. Players were worried about the humiliation that would be brought upon them if they were selected last overall, and that humiliation came true when Phil Kessel found himself as the lone player surrounded by empty seats, as he was the last player chosen. Kessel was awarded $20,000 and a free vehicle… not bad for half an hour of work.
2. Mario Lemieux’s 6 Points (1988) – Mario Lemieux created one of the best All-Star moments ever. factoring in on all six Wales Conference points, including scoring the OT winner himself in a 6-5 victory over Campbell conference.
1. Gretzky scores four (1983) – As was common in the 1980’s, Gretzky set a record by being the first player to record four goals in an ASG. This was a glimpse into what the future held for the then 22 year old. Other players to notch four goal ASGs include Mario Lemiuex, Vincent Damphousse, Mike Gartner, Dany Heatley, and John Tavares.