“Saturday Night Live” mainstay Kenan Thompson will return as host of the 2022 NHL Awards on Tuesday, June 21, the NHL announced Wednesday, as the league aims to make the event an in-person one again after a two-year hiatus spurred by the coronavirus pandemic.
The televised celebration of the league’s best regular-season performances will broadcast live from either New York City or Tampa on the second night of the 2022 Stanley Cup Final, and will appear on ESPN, Sportsnet and TVA Sports in the U.S. and Canada and 7 p.m. eastern.
“Whether it’s the regular season or the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the NHL certainly knows how to put on a show and I’m honored to be a part of it again,” said Thompson, in a prepared statement. “The playoffs have been so exciting I can’t wait to cap off this great season as the host of the 2022 NHL Awards.”
“After a two-year hiatus, we are excited to welcome the NHL Awards show back with Kenan as host,” said Steve Mayer, the NHL’s chief content officer and vice president. “Kenan did a tremendous job in 2019 and is the perfect host to lead a fun and festive celebration of the season’s best.”
While Thompson may be best known for his 19 seasons on “SNL,” he has some ties to the world of hockey. He had roles in “D2: The Mighty Ducks” and “D3: The Mighty Ducks.” He made his television debut as a member of Nickelodeon’s all-kid sketch comedy series, “All That,” before starring in the show’s popular spinoff, “Kenan and Kel.” Thompson is currently the longest-tenured cast member at NBC’s “SNL” and recently starred in and executive produced the NBC sitcom “Kenan.”
The 2022 NHL Awards will reveal the winners of six awards, including most valuable player (Hart Trophy); outstanding goaltender (Vezina Trophy); outstanding defenseman (Norris Trophy); outstanding rookie (Calder Trophy); the Ted Lindsay Award, which is presented annually to the “most outstanding player” in the NHL as voted by fellow members of the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA); and the E.J. McGuire Award of Excellence presented annually by the League to a candidate who best exemplifies commitment to excellence through strength of character, competitiveness and athleticism. Noel Acton, the winner of the Willie O’Ree Community Hero Award presented by MassMutual, will be recognized in the live show. The finalists for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year Award will be announced in the broadcast.