Michael Bublé found a way to make NHL All-Star Weekend memorable

TORONTO, Ontario – His buddy told him it was just supposed to be a microdose of mushrooms. 

It pretty clearly wasn’t. 

And with that viral clip, Michael Bublé stole the show from Night 1 of NHL All-Star Week. 

It was probably for the better. 

One of the things the NHL, and all sports leagues for that matter, have been trying to capture is renewed fan relevance in their mid-season showcases. By every trackable measure, All-Star events are slowly dying. Ratings are dropping. Players aren’t interested in going. 

And it’s not really the league’s fault. 

Technology killed the All-Star Game. 

Life has never been more accessible, we all carry more technology and intel in our phones than entire generations had throughout their lives. It used to be hard to even watch every player in the league. I remember growing up as a kid in New Jersey lucky enough to be able to watch multiple teams on television, but the only time I could watch a player not on the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, or New York Islanders was when they played one of those respective teams. 

So All-Star Games meant something, watching Peter Forsberg, for example, in an All-Star game was a big deal because it wasn’t as easy as picking his game from a streaming service that night. 

And that context is important. 

Because as often as we rip on the NHL for some cringe moments in their All-Star game, the one thing the league never had control over was the passage of time. How a mid-season showcase that went from a one-off – top players on your television that night night – to an every night occurrence for the die-hard hockey fan. 

So the NHL has had to try and stick the landing on a difficult situation, where financially this is still a huge event. 

“The number of sponsors here, just look around, this is still where the league business gets done,” an NHL source said Thursday. “Having this in Toronto, with the biggest-money sponsors around, that’s why these events will always be important.”

It’s like a giant trade show. We know that as hockey writers, it’s why we attend these things, and it’s one of the few remaining events like this with the NHL changing the draft to a decentralized format after 2024 in Las Vegas. 

The NHL, with those business measures in mind, wants to keep everything as squeaky clean as possible. Even more so with the black cloud of the ongoing Hockey Canada-related arrests in London. 

Throughout All-Star Media day, various team PR people went out of their way to stop reporters from asking about any pending legal actions.

Hockey's image, rightfully so, has taken a hit lately. And a silly All-Star game had to avoid getting too silly and risk a player saying the wrong thing to a live television audience. 

So unlike past draft-based formats, they stopped the players from drinking. Did it in an awkward arena setup, some players in skates others not, and tried to find a way to keep things corporate and clean as possible. 

They could control the players, forcing them into All-Star media day first before they draft. There wasn’t time to partake in other vices. 

But they couldn’t control Michael Bublé, who delivered one of the most memorable press conferences in All-Star Game history. 

With gems like: 

“All of my texts it was people… ‘Congratulations.’ ‘Congratulations on being chosen to go to the All-Star Game.’ And I was like, ‘Congratulations?? I am a superstar!’”

And, of course:

“My buddy told me, this is just a microdose of mushrooms and he WAS lying. So, I’ll be honest, I thought I was in ‘Blades of Glory’ for most of the time that I was out there, until it sort of settled down and then I realized, ‘Holy shit I am in the NHL All-Star Game.’”

People will talk about the NHL this morning. And not just hockey fans, which in a weird way is what this all all supposed to be about, right?

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