The Toronto native — and hardcore Maple Leafs fan — will face off against Auston Matthews and his celebrity co-captain Justin Bieber at the NHL All-Star Game
From TV star to voiceover savant to podcast host, Will Arnett has tackled so much of the entertainment industry. And this weekend, he’s adding another line to his impressive resume: NHL All-Star Weekend captain.
The Toronto native, 53, is returning home this week for the National Hockey League’s All-Star Weekend at Scotiabank Arena from Feb. 1 - Feb. 3.
Arnett is being paired up with Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid to lead Team McDavid against four other star-studded pairings — including Michael Bublé and the New Jersey Devils’ Jack Hughes; Tate McRae and the Colorado Avalanche’s Nathan MacKinnon; and from Arnett’s hometown team, the Toronto Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews, who is paired with Justin Bieber.
As a hardcore Maple Leafs fan, Arnett says it's "not easy" to go head-to-head with the team’s center.
“But I've got to look at it like if he plays in the Olympics, he'll play for Team USA, and so I've got to root for Team Canada,” the Smartless host tells PEOPLE of the Californian while explaining that the pairing makes sense as the hockey star and Bieber are “good pals.”
While the Edmonton Oilers might not be the actor’s hometown team, he is more than excited to join McDavid and assistant captain Leon Draisaitl — both of whom he calls “unbelievable players" — to lead their team.
“Connor McDavid is going to go down as one of potentially the greatest players ever to play the game,” the actor gushes. “His skating and stickhandling combo is second to none, he's just an unbelievable, unbelievably gifted athlete.”
And Draisaitl, he says, is “also just an absolute superstar.” Arnett adds, “So that I get to be with those guys is ... What a thrill, what a total thrill.”
Ahead of the weekend’s festivities, which kicked off with the draft on Thursday before coming together on Saturday at 3.p.m. for the big game, Arnett says that one of his biggest goals is to enjoy it all.
“I really, really want to have fun, and I want the fans to have fun,” he says.
Though his kids will be staying back home in California this time around — Arnett explains that while his “15-year-old is so mad” the family agreed that school had to take priority for his two older sons who he shares with ex-wife Amy Poehler — he will be joined by his dad and some friends to help cheer him on.
“I'm just really looking forward to [it],” he says of the weekend. “Again, I wouldn't have believed it if you had told me when I was a little kid that I would be able to be in this position, it's nuts.”
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