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All Star weekend is upon us and as always, I’m very much looking forward to the skills competition.

They’ve made changes in the past to the events, but this year there is a drastic difference.

Here’s a link to’s page with the itinerary.

I’ll break it down real quick.

– Gone is the puck control relay, we now have the obstacle course relay where three skaters and a goalie perform different tasks for their team. The first player controls a puck around cones in the faceoff circle, the second tries to send saucer passes over a bar and into a net, the third takes one time shots and the goalie will try to score from his own end of the ice. Points are awarded for completing these tasks.

Now this could be really fun to watch, or really boring. Personally I’ve always thought the puck control relay was the worst event to watch so I’m glad they changed it.

-Fastest skater is up next and this really hasn’t changed at all. 3 heats of head to head with the fastest time on each team going head to head in the finals.

– Next is the “elimination shootout.” Since the shootout has been so big for the NHL the last few years, we now are going to have a type of shootout where if you keep scoring, you keep playing. X number of players will try and score once on a goalie, if they score, they advance to the elimination round. In the elimination round, if you fail to score, you are out. They’ll keep playing until only one man is left.

Since the goalies have a distinct advantage in this game, it could go by too quickly.

-Youngstars game. This used to be a 4 v 4 exhibition that lasted for quite awhile, now it’s a 12 minute 3 v 3 pond hockey style with no faceoffs except for the start. Lots of breakaways my friend.

– The accuracy shooting, typically the fan favorite has changed very little but there will be a tournament style where the top players will go head to head for the best score.

– Hardest shot is the same thing, and hasn’t changed.

– The breakaway relay is gone and has been replaced with the “Breakaway Challenge”. This is where the drastic change has occurred. Remember the NBA Dunk Contest (I know they still have it but it has sucked for the past decade)? Well this event is similar as the skater must perform with style while trying to score a goal. Perhaps a behind the back double flip with the puck while blindfolded? Players will be judged by a panel (probably celebrity) on a scale of 1 to 9. If they score a goal, they get an additional point.

There you have it.

The All star game is Sunday evening and both events take place on Versus.


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