Max Kerman of Arkells fist-bumped Gretzky at the NHL Awards Wednesday.

Wednesday’s NHL Awards in Las Vegas involved a musical performance from Canadian band Arkells, and it culminated with nothing else than a fist-bump with Wayne Gretzky. Hockey’s often known for its Canadian content, of course, but this elevated things to another level. The band’s huge in Canada thanks to three wins at the Juno Awards (Group of the Year in both 2012 and 2015, Rock Album of the Year for High Noon in 2015) and two further nominations (Group of the Year and Rock Album of the Year in 2017), and they’ve started making waves Stateside as well (especially at festivals), but the NHL Awards was perhaps another level of stage for them. And capping it off with the Gretzky fist-bump? Priceless.

It’s also worth noting that lead singer Max Kerman is rocking quite the jean jacket there, halfway to a Canadian tuxedo. And that this overall performance (of their new single, “Knocking at the Door,” with the Atomic City Brass) was pretty impressive. Here’s a clip of it; it’s particularly cool to see the introductions of NHL legends near the end.

Speaking as someone who’s been to countless Arkells shows, the energy is always impressive. And it’s remarkable that they bring the same energy to playing in front of 100 or so people at a club that they show off at the NHL Awards. These guys pour their heart into everything they do, and that’s as obvious at a big thing like this as it is with their smaller shows and individual videos. Here’s the full video of “Knocking at the Door” for those interested:

These guys have had some high-profile gigs before, including Junos performances, a show at the NHL’s outdoor Centennial Classic, Grey Cup opening concert performances, songs in EA Sports’ NHL franchise and even an official anthem for the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but the NHL Awards is another level. It’s cool to see them getting some attention and recognition on the U.S. stage. Even from Gretzky. That’s some good hoserism there, guys.

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About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.