The LA Kings are off, minus goaltender Cam Talbot, who will represent the organization today at the 2024 NHL All-Star game in Toronto, Ontario.
For Talbot, this afternoon marks his second ever NHL All-Star appearance. Talbot participated in the 2022 event as a member of the Minnesota Wild. Skating in an All-Star game again today at Talbot’s age, the final All-Star event until at least 2027 after recent announcements regarding international play, isn’t an honor he’s taking for granted.
“It’s special,” he said. “This will most likely be the last one for awhile, with all of the World Cups and stuff coming up, so for me to be there at this age…..it’s pretty special.”
For Talbot specifically, playing in this game in Toronto carries some special meaning.
Naturally, his wife Kelly and their two children are in Toronto for the game, but being in his home province means a lot of support over the course of the weekend. Talbot said his mom, dad, step mom and step dad are also at the game, as well as his sister and a ton of friends. He estimated that 18-20 people will be at each event over the course of the weekend. That’s pretty special.
More on Talbot’s perspective on the All-Star nod HERE, back from when he was first selected to the game at the beginning of January.
“Extremely honored, humbled, especially at this point in my career, to be given that that honor is pretty, pretty special to me and one that I am obviously extremely grateful for.”
Goalies supporting goalies >>>
We mic’d up Talbs for the One on One and the results are amazing 🤣 pic.twitter.com/4vySKooX6L
— LA Kings (@LAKings) February 3, 2024
Today’s game follows last night’s NHL Skills Competition. The skills event adopted a new format, which was pretty cool, though it meant that the majority of All Stars weren’t even able to compete. The league opted for more of a decathalon-style event, with only a select number of players participating in the majority of events. For Talbot, being a goaltender, he was a part of Event 7, the NHL Shootout. Talbot was selected by William Nylander as his goaltender and held his own over the 60 seconds. Fans of most teams didn’t get the change to see their All Star compete, which was probably a bit disappointing. Fortunately for Kings fans, they got a glimpse of Talbot in the event he was able to play in.
Onto today’s All-Star Game, it shares a similar format to what we’ve seen in recent seasons. Four teams will play in a single-elimination, bracket-style format, with each team competing in the semifinals and the winning teams advancing to the championship game. Talbot will be a part of Team Hughes, after he was selected to that squad during Thursday’s All-Star Draft. Perhaps re-named to the Shroom Squad after celebrity captain Michael Buble’s press conference on Thursday night…..but I digress. Talbot is one of two goaltenders on the team, alongside Vancouver’s Thatcher Demko.
In years past, the draft was an opportunity for one unlucky player to actually be the luckiest guy in the building, earning a car as the last player selected. Talbot joked he would’ve been like Alex Ovechkin, holding up a sign to let him just win the car, but with that “incentive” removed, he just took in the event as it went. He was ultimately selected to Team Hughes, joining former teammate Brady Tkachuk from Ottawa, though there are certainly a few guys he’s known from over the years. Whether it’s the draft, the skills event or the game, that’s the best part of events like this.
“These events are just so much fun to see everyone that you’ve ever played with,” he said. “Any time you get a chance to reconnect with old teammates, that’s always the best part.”
3 PM – Team McDavid vs. Team MacKinnon
4 PM – Team Hughes vs. Team Matthews
Event format is single elimination, winners move on. All games will be played in a 3-on-3 format and each game will be a total of 20 minutes long, so we’ll imagine that Talbot will get the opportunity to play half the game. The first game for Talbot is about enjoying his moment as an All Star. Should Team Hughes win, however, Talbot said he’ll be dialed in for the final.
“For the first one, it’s about enjoying the moment, and then if you win the first one, the second one is really about winning, because then you want the prize money.”
Don’t blame you there, Talbs.