Justin Bieber takes the ice, grabs the spotlight at NHL All-Star Weekend

Team Matthews' Morgan Rielly, left to right, Auston Matthews and Justin Bieber pick Mitch Marner during the NHL All-Star week draft in Toronto on Thursday, February 1, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO (AP) — Justin Bieber was one of the big stars of NHL All-Star Weekend, performing at a party he threw early in the week and actually getting on the ice prior to the 3-on-3 tournament Saturday.

Bieber was one of four celebrity captains along with fellow Canadians Michael Bublé, Will Arnett and Tate McRae. He took part in warmups and was mic-ed up for the occasion.

“It’s been a minute — it’s so fun, though,” Bieber said while skating. “This is a dream.”

Bieber took a photo with reigning MVP and skills competition champion Connor McDavid, chatted with Elias Pettersson and even got asked by Sergei Bobrovsky if he was actually playing. That would be a bit too far.

“No, just for warmups,” Bieber said. “Otherwise I’ll get hurt.”

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All-Star 3-on-3 MVP Auston Matthews was a fan of having Bieber out there.

“Everybody enjoyed it — he obviously really enjoyed it,” Matthews said. “It was a cool moment for him to get on the ice and snap it around with a couple of the fellas. I think everybody really got a kick out of that, honestly.”

Bieber wore a Super Mario Brothers-inspired mushroom coat behind the bench during the game, a nod at Bublé, who said Thursday night after the player draft that he was on mushrooms.

Matthews said players were joking that Boston Bruins coach Jim Montgomery should put on the coat. It stayed on Bieber instead.

“We were loving it,” Matthews said. “If you’re up pretty high in the stands, there’s no doubt you could pick him out of a crowd pretty easily.”

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