The NHL All-Star Skills Competition, arguably the most interesting portion of All-Star Weekend, was first implemented at the 41st NHL All-Star Game in Pittsburgh in 1990. The competition is designed to showcase all the various talents that the all-star participants have in their arsenal and has led to many entertaining moments over the past 21 years. Here are our top five.
5. A goalie race?
Yes, you read correctly.
In last year’s All-Star Skills Competition in Carolina, the NHL added an interesting event to the competition in hopes of getting the goaltenders more involved. As such, they came up with the “Fastest Goalie Skater” event.
As it turned out, hometown netminder Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes won the event over Boston Bruins’ goaltender Tim Thomas, who ended taking a big spill in the corner.
“Not very often do I do a hard, full lap,” said Ward, who won the race in 18.895 to Thomas’ 19 seconds even. “Coach Mo likes to have some skates after practice, but usually I just coast around and do my thing.”
4. Ovechkin and Malkin end feud during 2009 Skills Competition
One would think that two players from the same country who played on many of the same international teams and roomed together during the 2006 Winter Games would be best of friends.
While that was true for a period of time, there was a feud between two of the league’s superstars, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals and Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Neither Ovechkin nor Malkin revealed what planted the feud, but it could be seen on the ice during the 2008-09 season as Ovechkin looked to hit Malkin at every turn on the ice.
However, the feud ended during the 2009 All-Star Skills Competition in Montreal as Ovechkin and Malkin shared a great and funny moment together:
3. DiPietro drops F-bomb in 2008 Skills Competition
Everyone knows that when it comes to New York Islanders’ fragile netminder Rick DiPietro, there is always a chance he’s going to hurt himself when he gets in the net.
Hockey fans got the perfect taste of that in 2007 in Atlanta when, in the skills competition, DiPietro hurt himself while trying stop then Minnesota Wild sniper Marian Gaborik in the breakaway challenge.
While fans probably muttered obscenities while watching DiPietro stretch to make the stop, DiPietro did one better for those watching on television…
2. Bourque goes 4-for-4 in accuracy contest in Philadelphia
One of the most popular events in the All-Star Skills competition is shooting accuracy.
If you’re not familiar with it, there are four targets attached to the net, one for each corner. The objective is to knock down all four in less than six shots.
One Hall of Famer who was always dead-on was Raymond Bourque. Whenever it came to this particular event and his named was called, fans knew they would see something remarkable.
This happened to be the case at the 1992 All-Star skills competition at the Spectrum in Philadelphia:
1. Iafrate and Chara break 100 mph to win hardest shot Another popular event that hockey fans love when it comes to the All-Star skills competition is the hardest shot.
In 1993 in Montreal, hockey fans were astonished when they saw then Washington Capitals’ defenceman Al Iafrate fire a 105.2 mph slap shot. Iafrate was the first to break 100 mph in the history of the skills competition:
Eight years later, fans in Carolina saw the hardest slap shot ever recorded by Boston Bruins’ defenceman and now 2012 All-Star Game captain Zdeno Chara: