Los Angeles turned into “Hockeywood” on Friday, when the biggest names in entertainment honored not only the NHL’s greatest, but also one of their own — late “Growing Pains” star Alan Thicke.
And host Jon Hamm couldn’t have been more excited about it all.
The lifelong St. Louis Blues fanatic hosted the NHL 100 Gala to celebrate the biggest names in the league’s history at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live on Friday night, while proving his genuine heartfelt love of the sport.
“My heart is racing … these might be the best athletes in the world,” the “Mad Man” star said as he took to the stage.
He couldn’t resist throwing in a jab at that other sport that has a big game in just over a week. “Tom Brady is terrific, but good luck deflating a hockey puck,” he said (ouch).
“Matt Ryan is Matty Ice, but I bet he never even went to an Atlanta Thrashers game — but then again, who did?” asked Hamm, who couldn’t help but gush when he talked to all the iconic players in attendance, even when the cameras weren’t rolling.
Michael J. Fox, Keanu Reeves, NBC anchor Al Michaels and “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek were also among the impressive of presenters at the A-list event, which featured appearances from legendary players as well as famous hockey fans from movies, television and music.
Hollywood and entertainment industry icons of every era — who also happy to be hockey fans — introduced NHL legends from each decade, starting with Al Michaels and the ’70s.
“The 1970s was the Vietnam War, Watergate, long lines at gas stations … and people found distractions where they could,” Michaels explained, as he introduced the top players from that time, including Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr.
Next up was Michael J. Fox, who aptly presented the ’80s, a time when he skyrocketed to fame in “Family Ties” and “Back to the Future.”
“The ’80s were about hair bands and mullets,” Fox said. “It’s no surprise that in the middle of the decade, I wanted to get back to the future. Time travel jokes never get old,” he quipped. Backstage, he was shown telling Wayne Gretzky: “You hold the record for holding the most records.” So true.
Host Hamm then presented a very special musical guest. “This night is full of legends, which leads us to John Legend,” who played his first of two musical numbers against the backdrop of hockey greats.
Keanu Reeves got to look back on the ’90s, when not only did he star in the “Matrix” series, but he said it was also “a time of starts and restarts — like Napster and the dance craze, doing the Macarena. And it started a new time for the New York Rangers,” he gushed, getting visibly excited.
Trebek scored the 2000s, telling the audience: “The first decade of the 21st century was time of great change — iPods, TiVo and DVRs, and ‘Mad Men’ became one other biggest shows on TV. Things were changing on the ice too,” he said.
Just like the Oscars, the NHL 100 had its own “In Memoriam” section, with Gretzky saying: “Alan Thicke would have loved to have been here tonight — swapping stories and speaking trash.
“Let’s pay tribute to the players we’ve lost who earned a place on the great 100 list. Alan, this is for you,” he said, before John Ondrasik from Five for Fighting took to the piano to sing “100 Years,” as images of iconic lost players such as Gordie Howe flashed up.
Alan Thicke collapsed and died on Dec. 13 while watching his youngest son, Carter, play hockey in Burbank, California.
See the complete list of legends who have been voted among the 100 Greatest NHL Players presented by Molson Canadian below.
SID ABEL (C, 1938-39/1953-54)*
SYL APPS (C, 1936-37/1947-48)*
ANDY BATHGATE (RW, 1952-53/1970-71)*
JEAN BELIVEAU (C, 1950-51/1970-71)*
MAX BENTLEY (C, 1940-41/1953-54)*
TOE BLAKE (LW, 1934-35/1947-48)*
MIKE BOSSY (RW, 1977-78/1986-87)
RAY BOURQUE (D, 1979-80/2000-01)
JOHNNY BOWER (G, 1953-54/1969-70)*
TURK BRODA (G, 1936-37/1951-52)*
MARTIN BRODEUR (G, 1991-92/2014-15)
JOHNNY BUCYK (LW, 1955-56/1977-78)*
PAVEL BURE (RW, 1991-92/2002-03)
CHRIS CHELIOS (D, 1983-84/2009-10)
KING CLANCY (D, 1921-22/1936-37)*
BOBBY CLARKE (C, 1969-70/1983-84)
PAUL COFFEY (D, 1980-81/2000-01)
CHARLIE CONACHER (RW, 1929-30/1940-41)*
YVAN COURNOYER (RW, 1963-64/1978-79)
SIDNEY CROSBY (C, 2005-06/Present)
PAVEL DATSYUK (C, 2001-02/2015-16)
ALEX DELVECCHIO (C, 1950-51/1973-74)*
MARCEL DIONNE (C, 1971-72/1988-89)
KEN DRYDEN (G, 1970-71/1978-79)
BILL DURNAN (G, 1943-44/1949-50)*
PHIL ESPOSITO (C, 1963-64/1980-81)
TONY ESPOSITO (G, 1968-69/1983-84)
SERGEI FEDOROV (C, 1990-91/2008-09)
PETER FORSBERG (C, 1994-95/2010-11)
RON FRANCIS (C, 1981-82/2003-04)
GRANT FUHR (G, 1981-82/1999-00)
BOB GAINEY (LW, 1973-74/1988-89)
MIKE GARTNER (RW, 1979-80/1997-98)
BERNIE GEOFFRION (RW, 1950-51/1967-68)*
WAYNE GRETZKY (C, 1979-80/1998-99)
GLENN HALL (G, 1952-53/1970-71)*
DOUG HARVEY (D, 1947-48/1968-69)*
DOMINIK HASEK (G, 1990-91/2007-08)
TIM HORTON (D, 1949-50/1973-74)*
GORDIE HOWE (RW, 1946-47/1979-80)*
BOBBY HULL (LW, 1957-58/1979-80)
BRETT HULL (RW, 1986-87/2005-06)
JAROMIR JAGR (RW, 1990-91/Present)
PATRICK KANE (RW, 2007-08/Present)
DUNCAN KEITH (D, 2005-06/Present)
RED KELLY (D, 1947-48/1966-67)*
TED KENNEDY (C, 1942-43/1956-57)*
DAVE KEON (C, 1960-61/1981-82)*
JARI KURRI (RW, 1980-81/1997-98)
ELMER LACH (C, 1940-41/1953-54)*
GUY LAFLEUR (RW, 1971-72/1990-91)
PAT LAFONTAINE (C, 1983-84/1997-98)
BRIAN LEETCH (D, 1987-88/2005-06)
JACQUES LEMAIRE (C, 1967-68/1978-79)
MARIO LEMIEUX (C, 1984-85/2005-06)
NICKLAS LIDSTROM (D, 1991-92/2011-12)
ERIC LINDROS (C, 1992-93/2006-07)
TED LINDSAY (LW, 1944-45/1964-65)*
AL MACINNIS (D, 1981-82/2003-04)
FRANK MAHOVLICH (LW, 1956-57/1973-74)*
MARK MESSIER (C, 1979-80/2003-04)
STAN MIKITA (C, 1958-59/1979-80)
MIKE MODANO (C, 1988-89/2010-11)
DICKIE MOORE (LW, 1951-52/1967-68)*
HOWIE MORENZ (C, 1923-24/1936-37)*
SCOTT NIEDERMAYER (D, 1991-92/2009-10)
JOE NIEUWENDYK (C, 1986-87/2006-07)
ADAM OATES (C, 1985-86/2003-04)
BOBBY ORR (D, 1966-67/1978-79)
ALEX OVECHKIN (LW, 2005-06/Present)
BERNIE PARENT (G, 1965-66/1978-79)
BRAD PARK (D, 1968-69/1984-85)
GILBERT PERREAULT (C, 1970-71/1986-87)
JACQUES PLANTE (G, 1952-53/1972-73)*
DENIS POTVIN (D, 1973-74/1987-88)
CHRIS PRONGER (D, 1993-94/2011-12)
JEAN RATELLE (C, 1960-61/1980-81)
HENRI RICHARD (C, 1955-56/1974-75)*
MAURICE RICHARD (RW, 1942-43/1959-60)*
LARRY ROBINSON (D, 1972-73/1991-92)
LUC ROBITAILLE (LW, 1986-87/2005-06)
PATRICK ROY (G, 1984-85/2002-03)
JOE SAKIC (C, 1988-89/2008-09)
BORJE SALMING (D, 1973-74/1989-90)
DENIS SAVARD (C, 1980-81/1996-97)
SERGE SAVARD (D, 1966-67/1982-83)
TERRY SAWCHUK (G, 1949-50/1969-70)*
MILT SCHMIDT (C, 1936-37/1954-55)*
TEEMU SELANNE (RW, 1992-93/2013-14)
BRENDAN SHANAHAN (LW, 1987-88/2008-09)
EDDIE SHORE (D, 1926-27/1939-40)*
DARRYL SITTLER (C, 1970-71/1984-85)
BILLY SMITH (G, 1971-72/1988-89)
PETER STASTNY (C, 1980-81/1994-95)
SCOTT STEVENS (D, 1982-83/2003-04)
MATS SUNDIN (C, 1990-91/2008-09)
JONATHAN TOEWS (C, 2007-08/Present)
BRYAN TROTTIER (C, 1975-76/1993-94)
GEORGES VEZINA (G, 1917-18/1925-26)*
STEVE YZERMAN (C, 1983-84/2005-06)
* Part of first group of 33 players announced Jan. 1