Steve Mayer repeatedly described NHL All-Star Thursday with one word: Fun.

The League’s chief content officer said starting 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend with a tripleheader of events at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto is a new and exciting way to showcase the talent and personalities of the world’s best players.

“We’re really hopeful that this is going not only to be a positive weekend for the NHL in-arena, but outside the arena and on television,” Mayer said in a conference call with reporters Monday. “We have great partners both in the United States and Canada, and they lean into All-Star Weekend like no other event. They’re bringing a lot of their on-camera talent, they build sets. ... It’s a big deal, and we think we’ve given them some new formats that are exciting that our fans are going to want to tune in and watch.”

Mayer said he’s particularly excited about All-Star Thursday, which begins with the Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Player Draft (6 p.m. ET; ESPN2, SN, TVAS) for the Honda (U.S.)/Rogers (Canada) NHL All-Star Game on Saturday (3 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, SN, CBC, TVAS).

The All-Star Game will continue the 3-on-3 format introduced in 2016.

“The player draft is going to be fun,” Mayer said. “These are great opportunities for us, especially in the television world, to show off our player personalities. Their helmets are off. They like to have fun and [be] a lot more relaxed here.”

Global superstar Justin Bieber is celebrity captain for Team Matthews, with Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews as captain and defenseman Morgan Rielly his assistant.

Team McDavid will be led by Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid, with Oilers center Leon Draisaitl as his assistant and Toronto-born actor Will Arnett the celebrity captain.

Team Hughes will be led by New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes and his brother, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes, with Grammy Award-winning musician Michael Bublé as celebrity captain. New York Islanders forward Mathew Barzal replaced Jack Hughes (upper body) as a participant in the 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook, and Canucks forward Elias Pettersson was added as an assistant captain. Jack Hughes still is scheduled to be in Toronto and will take part in off-ice events.

Team MacKinnon will be led by Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon and teammate Cale Makar. Canadian multiplatinum singer/songwriter and dancer Tate McRae is celebrity captain.

“We also knew that there were celebrities that are passionate fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs that we knew were going to be involved in the weekend in one way or another, Mr. Bieber and Mr. Arnett,” Mayer said. “How do we incorporate them into a fun event? We’ve added now Michael Bublé and Tate McRae.”

The draft is sure to produce some interesting moments, Mayer said.

“Players drafting other players, the storylines that come out of it once we talk about, ‘Will they take their teammates, will they take their former teammates, guys they grew up with, will they not take their teammates?’” Mayer said. “It’s good TV. It’s a lot of fun. It’s going to be fast; we’re going to do the whole draft in an hour. … I think it’s going to be a fun night, fast-moving, and we’re really happy that we decided to do it.”

Watch All-Stars and celebrities draft their teams for the 2024 All-Star Game

After the draft, there will be a ceremony announcing the NHL Alumni Keith Magnuson Man of the Year Award, which will serve as a tribute to the 1966-67 Stanley Cup champion Maple Leafs. The award is presented annually to a former NHL player who has applied the intangibles of perseverance, commitment and teamwork developed through the game into a successful post-career transition.

The evening concludes with the Canadian Tire PWHL 3-on-3 showcase, featuring players from the Professional Women’s Hockey League.

“Right off the bat, when the talks of the PWHL were taking place and their interest to have events around our signature events, like our outdoor games and All-Star, it became a no-brainer to do something and make it the anchor of our Thursday night,” Mayer said.

“I think it makes Thursday night really cool that if you have a ticket to not only one event, you have a ticket to three events in one. It’s going to be a big night and we’re going to continue to lean in and work with the women’s players and have them as part of our world as well. It makes it a better event.”

The 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook is Friday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS) and has a new look with 12 players competing for a $1 million prize. The 12 All-Stars in the Skills competition each will compete in four of the first six events: The Fastenal NHL Fastest Skater, Rogers NHL Hardest Shot, Upper Deck NHL Stick Handling, Tim Hortons NHL One Timers, Scotiabank NHL Passing Challenge and Cheetos NHL Accuracy Shooting. First place will be worth five points, second place four points and so on.

The top eight will advance to the seventh event, the Honda NHL Shootout. The top six will advance to the final event, the Pepsi NHL Obstacle Course, which will include all skills and be worth double the points. First place is 10 points, second place eight points and so on.

Mayer said the winning goalie in the shootout competition will receive $100,000.

“There's something in it for them too,” he said. “They are incentivized to make some saves. … They will get a prize as well.”

NHL All-Star Skills Competition, Feb. 2 on ESPN