Hockey and Hollywood mingle on the Vegas red carpet

A group of professional athletes known for keeping their cool on ice sweated it out on the red carpet in the Vegas heat Thursday afternoon for the NHL Awards at the Palms Las Vegas.

It was a sea of hockey and Hollywood’s brightest stars posing for fans and the international media for the event, held in Vegas for the first time ever.

The awards celebration, which has taken place in Toronto for many years, was the inaugural event of a three-year agreement with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority in an effort to try to raise the sport’s profile.

The players, some in Vegas for the first time, seemed to be enjoying the atmosphere in Sin City and many paused to sign autographs for fans. Pittsburgh Penguin Evgeny Malkin celebrated his team’s recent Stanley Cup win by carrying the coveted trophy down the red carpet and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals strutted down the carpet flanked by a pair of showgirls.

Some of the NHL’s brightest stars, past and present, were in attendance including Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom, Mark Messier, Jeremy Roenick and Sergei Federov.

It wasn’t just hockey players walking the red carpet. Many celebrity hockey fans were in town for the awards including singers Robin Thicke, Chaka Khan and Michael Bublé and actors William Fichtner (Prison Break), Kevin Connolly (Entourage), Colin Ferguson (Eureka) and Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica).

Hockey fans have another reason to cheer. The sport will be in the spotlight again on Sept. 26 when the NHL hosts “Frozen Fury XII,” a preseason game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Los Angeles Kings at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

*Photos by Aleza Freeman


It’s not that warm in Minnesota. I know this from spending half my life freezing in the northern part of the state. So 20 years ago, I decided to thaw out and traded in scarves and mittens for tank tops and flip-flops (Take that, polar vortex!). I swapped snow for 300 days of sun a year. I may not have been born here, but there are hotels that haven’t lasted in Vegas as long as I have. The Sands, Hacienda, Aladdin, Desert Inn and the Stardust too. I've been to my fair share of implosion parties. (Yeah, that’s a thing.) As a writer for, I've applauded hundreds of shows, explored every major hotel in town and raised a few glasses at most of the city's bars and clubs. Now I'm the resident foodie here. I write about all things dining — from $3.99 shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate to the finest sushi at Nobu, and everything in between.