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PRINCIPE: Hollywood Role

In his latest blog, Gene Principe writes about Connor McDavid ahead of his first NHL All-Star appearance

by Gene Principe @GenePrincipe /

It was the way so many messages get relayed in this day and age: by text. That's how Connor McDavid found out that he would be going to the 2017 NHL All-Star Game. 

J.J. Hebert, Senior Director of Hockey Communications & Media Relations with the Edmonton Oilers, did the sending and McDavid the receiving. 

"It was after the voting was closed and the NHL released it or posted it on Instagram," said McDavid. "To be honest I wasn't really following the voting process as I've been busy with the team. Once I got the text then it was exciting for me to get this chance." 

A chance you knew McDavid would be destined to get. The chance to rub shoulders with the game's greatest which he is quickly becoming one of.

What a difference a year makes. This time last season McDavid was still getting over the shock of breaking a collarbone and fracturing not just a body part but his rookie season with the Oilers. In fact, he was sitting at home in Edmonton with one roommate, Luke Gazdic, watching another roommate, Taylor Hall, take part in the All-Star Weekend in Nashville. McDavid's weekend in Los Angeles will be much busier than that one in Edmonton. They call it an 'All-Star break' but 'break' is the last thing it is - especially if you're McDavid. 

Here's a rundown of the weekend ahead for the Oilers captain:


  • Morning flight to L.A.

  • Rightsholder interviews

  • Take in the show for the naming of the NHL's top 100 players


  • 'Learn to Play' presser

  • General media availability

  • Skills competition

Sponsorship meet-and-greets are also sprinkled in before having a free evening. 

Sunday is the game and then, before you know it, back to Edmonton he goes. 

Sounds busy but sounds fun.

While the All-Stars, who are married with kids and will be bringing their families, McDavid will be doing the same with those closest to him. Parents and grandparents will be there to witness it all first-hand. 

"It will be special to spend it with them" explained the Pacific Division captain. "They haven't been to California before so that will make it even better." 

You can't be much better than McDavid has been so far into his second NHL season. He currently leads the NHL in points (59) and assists (42). Yet he will be mixing and mingling with the game's brightest stars and it's Hollywood so who knows who he might run into. 

"I haven't really given too much thought into what celebrities will be there but I hope there are some cool people who will be hanging around," McDavid said. 

A hint of the excitement filtering through from the 20-year-old who acts older than his birth certificate suggests.

While he's going to be playing on a great team this weekend, McDavid has been playing on a very good team during the regular season. The Oilers go into the break with 64 points. That's only six points behind their entire total for 2015-16. It's a big breakthrough with McDavid leading the charge. His game is growing and so is he and a weekend in L.A. won't hurt his progress in hockey. 

"I just like the idea of being around them," said the NHL sophomore. "It will give me a chance to get to know them a little better and I'll realize down the road what kind of impact that will have on me."

McDavid, like so many, grew up dreaming of playing in the NHL. Now, he's got a chance to partake in the All-Star Weekend. He said there isn't a mid-season meeting that stands out until what he'll experience on Sunday with his Hollywood role.

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