NHL adds two new events to all-star skills competition

Winnipeg Jets' Patrik Laine, left, skates against Vancouver Canucks' Bo Horvat during the Fastest Skater portion of the NHL All-Star Skills Competition in 2017. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

The NHL is shaking things up for the skills competition at this weekend’s all-star game, adding two new events and tweaking some others.

Fan favourites like the hardest shot and fastest skater will remain, but some new events will highlight other parts of the game, such as passing and goaltending.

The player who wins each event will take home $25,000.

Here’s a breakdown of the six events that players will be competing in on Saturday in Tampa Bay.

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NHL Fastest Skater

Like in past years, the fastest skater will be determined by having players skate one full lap around the rink, starting in front of the penalty boxes. Eight players will compete and the player with the fastest time will win.

In the event of a tie, players will skate a second lap to determine the winner.

NHL Passing Challenge

One of two new entries, this event consists of three challenges that all focus on passing. Per the NHL’s official release, those three challenges are:

1. Target passing, where each player must complete four successful passes to targets that light up in a random sequence.

2. Give and go, where each player must successfully complete the four required passes through a course set up in the neutral zone.

3. Mini Nets, where each player must complete one pass over a barricade and into each of four mini nets, as well as an additional pass into the game net.

Each challenge must be completed before a player can move on to the next one. The player with the fastest time will be crowned the winner.

NHL save streak

The second new event will replace the shootout and pits the goaltenders against each other to make the most saves.

In this event, “Each goalie will face one opposing division and a minimum of nine scoring attempts. Players from each division will shoot in numerical order, lowest to highest, with the divisional captain shooting ninth. A goalie’s round at the NHL Save Streak cannot end with a save – if the divisional captain’s shot is saved, the goalie will continue to face shooters until a goal is scored. If the goalie makes a save on the divisional captain’s shot, the order of shooters to follow is the same as at the original order.

“The goalie with the longest consecutive save streak during his time in net is the winner.”

Five of the eight goalies will compete and all 36 skaters will get a chance to shoot.

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NHL puck control relay

Like the passing challenge, this event will showcase three skills in a relay format. Per the NHL, the three skills are:

1. Stickhandling, where a skater controls a puck through a series of eight pucks in a straight line.

2. Cone Control, where a skater controls a puck through a series of eight cones in a zig-zag formation.

3. Gates, where a skater approaches a gate and is required to shoot or otherwise guide the puck through the lighted rung of a gate.

Each challenge must be completed before a player can move on to the next one. The player with the fastest time will be crowned the winner.

NHL Hardest Shot

This is another event that will be familiar to hockey fans.

As in years past, eight players will fire two shots each. Shots must hit the net to count and the player with the hardest shot wins.

NHL accuracy shooting

This familiar event is getting a makeover this year. Unlike past years, players will have to hit five targets instead of four. On top of that, a light will randomly indicate which target the player has to shoot at and they have three seconds to hit it.

The clock will stop when the player hits all five targets and the fastest player will win.


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