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Rideau Canal winter ice skating Ottawa

NHL All-Star Game: Travel tips for hockey’s best in Ottawa

Rideau Canal winter ice skating Ottawa

The Rideau Canal will host some NHL All-Star Game activities — and perhaps a few of hockey’s greats will be convinced to take a few spins on the iconic rink in the nation’s capital this weekend. (Photo courtesy of ©Ottawa Tourism)

Story by Vacay.ca Staff

A hockey player can’t just hang out at the rink all weekend. They need to be wined, dined, entertained and cultured, just like the rest of us. With that in mind, here is a list of where we think a dozen of the game’s top stars should go while they’re in Ottawa this week for the 2012 NHL All-Star Game (Sunday, 4 pm ET, CBC).

Zdeno Chara, Bruins – The Diefenbunker, a four-storey, Cold War-era facility buried underground. The former Senators star might want to hide out in this unusual attraction until game time, given that many fans in Ottawa might want to kidnap him back for another playoff run.

Evgeni Malkin, PenguinsCanadian Museum of Civilization. Malkin, the NHL’s leading scorer, is a freak of nature and would fit in with the museum’s displays on man’s evolution.

jarome-iginla-2012-nhl-all-star-game

Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla, FlamesParliament Hill, where the long-time Calgary captain could give a lesson to many of the representatives on how to lead.

Tim Thomas, Bruins – Parliament Hill, for a completely different reason. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner and playoff MVP turned down an opportunity this week to visit the White House with his teammates, who were honoured by President Barack Obama. On his Facebook page, Thomas said he refused to go because he believes the U.S. government is too big. A look at Canada’s abundance of political workers and infrastructure may change his mind.

Marian Gaborik, Rangers – With a $7.5-million salary, Gaborik trails only Malkin as the highest-paid player at the All-Star Game, so he can afford to dine at the top-priced restaurants in town. Vacay.ca suggests Beckta, although if Gaborik wants to bring some friends along he might have a better time at the fun-loving Whalesbone Oyster House.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Oilers – A drive over the bridge to Hull, Quebec. The Edmonton rookie is only 18 and can’t drink in Ontario legally … but he can enjoy a post-game brew in La Belle Province.

Daniel and Henrik Sedin, CanucksThe House of Cheese. Considering all of the softness in this fabulous spot, the Canucks’ two stars with a tendency to turn to mush will fit right into this Byward Market staple.

Brian Campbell, PanthersBeavertails. Something tells us the smooth-skating defenceman and these sweet treats would be a match.

Steven Stamkos, Lightning Smoque Shack, the new barbeque joint in town is hot, just like the NHL’s top goal scorer.

Zaks-Diner-in-Ottawa

Zak’s in the Byward Market will be a hit with U.S. All-Stars like Phil Kessel. (Julia Pelish/Vacay.ca)

Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings – The Rideau Canal, the world’s largest skating rink is 7.8 kilometres long, and it’d be a thrill to watch this slick centre from Detroit put on some moves all the way down the ice and back. Even if the ice is a little soft these days.

Phil Kessel, Maple LeafsZak’s, the American-style diner in the Byward Market should make this U.S.-born star feel right at home.

Marian Hossa, Blackhawks – A real-estate agent. If Ottawa fans have their way, the former Senators winger may not be allowed to leave town again.

Got any suggestions for the NHL All-Stars while they’re in Ottawa? Share your travel tips in an email, a comment below or a submission on our Contests page. You could win a prize!

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Vicky is the worldly publisher of Vacay.ca. Having graduated from McGill University in Montreal, she has set about building a talented team of travel experts to deliver to you words and images of the very best places to see and experience in Canada. Based in Yorkville in Toronto, Vicky regularly jet sets around Canada — be sure to catch up with her when she's in your part of the country.