SUNRISE, Fla. — Mitch Marner has been enjoying the sun and sand at this year's NHL all-star festivities.
The Maple Leafs winger will need his winter coat if he makes the cut next year.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Saturday the league's 2024 showcase will be played in Toronto for the ninth time.
"Going to be a little colder than here," Marner said before taking the ice for the Atlantic Division in South Florida.
"It's gonna be fun."
The skills competition will be held Feb. 2, 2024, with the all-star game the following day at Scotiabank Arena.
"We're really excited to welcome hockey fans from all around the world, and the best players," Leafs president Brendan Shanahan said.
"We love our hockey and we love to celebrate the game."
Shanahan played in the all-star the last time it was held in Toronto back in 2000.
Marner was just short of his third birthday.
"I asked Mitch how old he was for that one and he was quite young," Shanahan said. "He didn't remember, so I lied to him and told him I won the car — wasn't true.
"I remember the excitement and the buzz in the city. Any time that you're in Toronto for a hockey game — especially something like the all-star game — you can feel the excitement."
The Toronto Raptors hosted the 2016 NBA all-star game at the same venue.
"The city's gonna be loving this," Marner said. "We're gonna be getting all the best players in the world in the same place at one time. Just seeing how the NBA all-star game was, I'm sure the NHL one's gonna be even bigger.
"Fans are gonna love it."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2023.
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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press