NHL’s All-Star Weekend will be bigger than ever in 2024, spanning three days and featuring a three-on-three showcase for the fledgling Professional Women’s Hockey League.
The league announced the changes Monday. All-Star weekend will kick off Feb. 1 at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena, starting with the return of the All-Star player draft after nearly a decade. Four captains (and a celebrity co-captain) will choose their teams for the All-Star Game that closes the weekend on Feb. 3.
The NHL Alumni Man of the Year (honoring the 1967 Maple Leafs team) and the PWHL three-on-three showcase will follow the draft. The All-Star skills competition will take place the next day.
The PWHL is expected to begin play for its inaugural season about a month before All-Star weekend. It’s not the first time women have been involved in NHL All-Star Weekend, but it marks a significant opportunity for the young league to reach a wide audience and showcase its players on an international scale.
The NHL has a blueprint for the three-on-three showcase, as the league hosted a similar event for women’s national team players at its All-Star Weekend in 2020. Women have also appeared as parts of the skills challenges in recent years. But 2024 will mark the first time the NHL has partnered with a women’s professional league for a stand-alone event.
Founding members of the PWHL have expressed their appreciation for the NHL’s support of the new league.
“Their support has been invaluable,” PWHL advisory board member Stan Kasten said earlier this month. “I’ve spoken to team presidents in the NHL, I’ve spoken to team owners in the NHL, all of whom have told me about the speech that [NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman made to them separately, about how important we are, how important this mission is, and how much they should do to help us, and that’s exactly the kind of cooperation I have had.”