Alan Thicke patch, Snoop Dogg among NHL All-Star surprises

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The NHL All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles is shaping up to be an impressive party, and we’re going to have a longer feature on how it was put together coming up later this week.

But after speaking to Steve Mayer, NHL Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President at the NHL, we have a few tidbits and teases to share about the weekend.

Alan Thicke Patch

Thicke died on Dec. 13, 2016, and was known as one of the most ardent celebrity Los Angeles Kings fans. Mayer had been speaking with him since the World Cup of Hockey about helping to organize events around the All-Star Game, as Thicke was actually executive producer of the entertainment at LA’s last all-star game in 2002.

At the “NHL 100” celebration on Friday night, his son Robin Thicke will introduce the in-memorium segment with a tribute to his late father.

“A lot of people had come to us asking how we were going to honor Alan, including Robin,” said Mayer. “This would have been the ultimate weekend for him.”

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At the celebrity game on Saturday afternoon, the players will wear on Alan Thicke patch in his honor: a Canadian maple leaf with an “AT” on it. Thicke was an active participant in those celebrity games, both indoors and at outdoor games.

(From what we gather, that patch is just for the celebrity game, although it would admittedly be cool to see it in the proper game on Sunday.)

Celebrity Game Turns Into Legends Game

While the NHL Celebrity Game will feature more than its share of “famous for the NHL” stars – your David Boreanaz, your Taylor Kitsch – it’s also going to feature a slew of NHL Top 100 players.

“There are 22 of the 36 players that are top 100 players. It’s the ultimate alumni game,” said Mayer.

And it’ll be coached by the ultimate alumni …

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Mario Vs. Gretzky

In the never-ending debate over Wayne Gretzky vs. Mario Lemieux, we have another chapter: The Great One is coaching one NHL “celebrity” team while Super Mario is coaching the other one.

Of course, Wayne has all that experience coaching the Phoenix Coyotes, while Mario was only an unofficial player-coach for most of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

They Tried For Bieber

Mayer said the NHL reached out to pop superstar Justin Bieber about playing in the celebrity game, but they couldn’t work it out due to his schedule.

No word if he apologized to them. If not, is it too late now to say sorry?

The Centennial Rolls On

The NHL’s centennial celebration will continue throughout 2017. There’s a celebration of the Stanley Cup, including the debut of a new Stanley Cup documentary that will be in Canadian theaters, in March. There will be Top 100 Moments and Top 100 Coaches lists, along with others, that will be revealed later in the year.

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And finally …

Snoop Dogg’s In the [Expletive] House

Noted Anaheim Ducks fan Snoop D-O-Double-G will be a part of the NHL All-Star Weekend. He’s performing at an NHL invite-only party on Saturday night, which will also feature what’s left of Blink-182.

But before that, he’s going to literally be the first thing viewers see at the NHL All-Star Weekend on Saturday.

“The first thing you see on television, on the ice. It’s going to be ‘Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the 2017 NHL All-Star Game,’ and then Snoop’s like, ‘Welcome to LAAAAAAA…,’” said Mayer.

No word if Snoop is providing the smoke machines for the player intros.

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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