Ten years ago was Jordan Eberle’s last NHL All-Star appearance.
In between, the events becoming reality: hundreds of his NHL games, six different Stanley Cup champions, three United States presidents, two new NHL expansion franchises, and the invention of TikTok.
Oh, and Eberle got married and has a family.
Time flies. They were all in Las Vegas together.
“Best part for me was having my little girl,” said Eberle.
Forever in the history books as first NHL All-Star selection in Seattle Kraken history, Eberle – who proudly brought wife, Lauren and 11-month old daughter, Collins – showed up to bury a no-doubter breakaway goal on Tristan Jarry of the Pittsburgh Penguins before 17,419 fans in attendance and a national television audience, at T-Mobile Arena and the 2022 NHL All-Star Game in Las Vegas.
Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Eberle’s time on ice was shorter than others: though beginning with a flamboyant pre-game introduction surrounded by an on-ice DJ and video screen stage, enlarged prop dice, and the Golden Belles. His Pacific Division squad was eliminated after a 6-4 defeat in the opening Noon PT match-up against the Metropolitan Division, who conquered the Atlantic Division in the final of three 20-minute games to round out Saturday afternoon.
Eberle’s goal, 4:27 into the second period, came off a threaded tape-to-tape pass from Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks. Eberle, gaining speed in an intriguing manner to contrast a typically laid-back approach to an All-Star Game, sniped Jarry’s glove side to tie the game, 3-3.
He said the move was all reactionary.
“I had no idea what I was going to do,” said Eberle. “The games start off quite slow as guys are trying to feel it out. But as it got going into the second period guys know what’s on the line, they want to move on.”
“I knew we were down one and was probably skating a little harder than guys on that breakaway. I was trying to go.”
Jack Hughes put the Metro Division back on top 1:49 later and would lead the rest of the way, ending Eberle’s afternoon. However, his return to the national stage put another valid stamp on a growing NHL playing career, inclusive of 823 NHL games, six 20-goal seasons, and 62 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.
The time that has passed since Eberle, then a sprite 21-year old in the 2012 All-Star Game and on the way to 34 goals that season, has seen plenty of transformation.
Young and playing with teammates such as Jarome Iginla, Pavel Datsyuk and Marian Hossa back then, he is now into his 30’s with experience on his side, Lauren by his side, and Collins by his side – an elder statesman this weekend in the Pacific Division dressing room with teammates such as Connor McDavid (a fellow linemate on Saturday along with Leon Draisaitl), Troy Terry, and Adrian Kempe. None of them are older than 25.
Those side-by-side moments are career highlights. However Eberle said, the weekend highlight, was showing the entire weekend scene to Collins.
“Bringing her on the ice, skills competition and on the bench, she’s not going to remember it,” said Eberle. “I will. We’ll have pictures.”
“It’s come a long way. I played in one of these ten years ago. I was a young kid back then, wasn’t married, obviously no kids. The format was different. It’s come full circle. I’ve really enjoyed this one with that aspect.”
Eberle now will come back home to don Kraken colors, on ice again Wednesday, Feb. 9 against the visiting Arizona Coyotes at 7:00pm PT, in Seattle where he said his family associates it as a place of enjoyment.
The fans were on his mind.
“I wanted to get a goal for them … and be the first from the Kraken to do that.”
Notes: Eberle added his name to a growing trivia resource - he became the fourth player since the NHL's expansion boom in the 1990's to score a goal in the All-Star Game, representing an expansion team: Brad Marsh in 1993 (Ottawa), Bob Kudelski in 1994 (Florida), and James Neal in 2018 (Vegas).