30 Years Later: The Legendary 1991 NHL All-Star Game

On Jan. 19, 1991 the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the NHL All-Star Game. Chicago hasn’t hosted the game since, but the 1991 event was one of the most memorable in NHL history.

The game featured three members of the Blackhawks: Chris Chelios started with Jeremy Roenick and Steve Larmer (whose number should be retired by the Hawks) came off the bench.

One of the more memorable introductions was that of Denis Savard, returning as a member of the Montreal Canadiens. His ovation was perhaps the only one louder than those for the three members of the Blackhawks or Wayne Gretzky. Chicago loved Savard and showed him how much with a remarkable ovation.

Gretzky had called for the game to be canceled. Two days before the game was to be played the United States attacked Iraq, beginning Operation Desert Storm. With the game moving forward as planned, Chicago made the performance of the Star Spangled Banner an iconic moment in sports history.

The rosters were loaded with future Hall of Famers.

The Campbell Conference starters were Chelios and Al MacInnis on the blue line, Mike Vernon in net and Gretzky, Adam Oates and Luc Robitaille at forward. Steve Yzerman, Mark Messier, Scott Stevens, Phil Housley, Theo Fleury, Steve Smith and Trevor Linden were among those on the bench with Larmer and Roenick. Stan Mikita was the honorary captain.

The Wales Conference starters were Patrick Roy in net, Ray Bourque and Paul Coffey on defense with Joe Sakic, Cam Neely and Rick Tocchet up front. The Wales’ bench included Savard, Brian Leetch, Mark Recchi, Pat LaFontaine, Pat Verbeek and Kevin Stevens.

Here’s the entire game:

Toronto’s Vincent Damphousse scored four goals and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

12 thoughts on “30 Years Later: The Legendary 1991 NHL All-Star Game

  • January 19, 2021 at 11:07 am

    2nd balcony, section R, seats 5 & 6. The loudest I ever heard still.

  • January 19, 2021 at 11:20 am

    2nd balc.
    Sec G. Row D.
    Very proud moment to be an American hockey fan.

    Always remember the two crazy guys behind me.

    Guy LaFleur’s last All-Star game.
    When he got the puck, people would chant ‘Guy’.

    Except those two. They would chant ‘Stu’.
    Grimson played for Hawks that year.

    Still makes me laugh.

  • January 19, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Row B, during regular season I wore opposition jersey with my name on it. Jersey collector. They’re worse vices.

  • January 19, 2021 at 11:50 am

    Either I didn’t know or had forgotten #99 called for the game to be cancelled. Thankfully the powers that be didn’t listen to him and the great National Anthem tradition was begun. I’ve read comments through the years that making a loud ruckus during the National Anthem is disrespectful – I’m as patriotic as you’ll find and I think all the hooting and hollering is just the opposite of being disrespectful – it’s show exuberant patriotism – at least for those who understood the original intent.

  • January 19, 2021 at 2:31 pm

    We agree.
    Better alert the media.

  • January 19, 2021 at 2:35 pm

    PP – BigBro says no need to send alert – he’s got it covered. :=)

  • January 19, 2021 at 2:46 pm

    And now for something completely different, I bring you one of them thar “hopium alerts” – Lucas Reichel scored a goal last game and has 2 assists half way through the game today. He started the season a little slow but is picking up the pace. Looking at his team (DEL – Eisbaren Berlin) – he is by far the youngest player at 18. Of the players who play regularly – there is one guy 3 years older and everyone else is between 24 – 35.

  • January 19, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Would allowing only 4 goals tonight be considered noteworthy progress … asking for a friend. :=)

  • January 19, 2021 at 3:59 pm

    Update on Reichel – his team won 4-2 and he ended up with 1 goal and 3 assists. He’s playing 2nd line center and now 5 points in his last 2 games – 7 points in 8 games played this season. Keep’er going Lucas.

  • January 19, 2021 at 4:05 pm

    Hagel in for Highmore tonight and Lankinen in goal.

  • January 19, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    Sweet. Lankinen I think will show in short order that he is our best option in goal.

    We have plenty of potential 4th line guys that should be on a rotation to see what they have.

  • January 19, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Awesome. Nothing better than this rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Gotta bring that (love and respect) back.

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