NHL Skills Competition to feature women’s 3-on-3, pucks shot from stands
The NHL announced on Wednesday the six competitions that will make up next week’s NHL All-Star Skills event in St. Louis. Gone is the Puck Control Relay and the Premier Passer. In their place will be the Elite Women’s 3-on-3 game and a very interesting trick shot challenge.
First, returning is Fastest Skater, which Connor McDavid could win his fourth straight, Save Streak, Accuracy Shooting, and Hardest Shot, where Shea Weber should be back to go for his fourth title.
Now let’s get into the particulars of the two new events.
Elite Women’s 3-on-3
The two teams will feature nine skaters and one goalie made up of U.S. and Canadian players who are part of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association -- a group that is boycotting playing this season as they push for a sustainable professional league. The game will go by IIHF women’s rules and feature two 10-minute periods with running time. Penalties will result in penalty shots for the fouled team.
The complete rosters will be announced during NBCSN’s pregame coverage of Wednesday Night Hockey beginning at 7 p.m. ET (livestream).
Should the game end in a tie there will be a three-minute overtime with running time. If overtime isn’t enough, the team whose player records the higher score in the trick shot challenge a.k.a. Shooting Stars event will determine the winner.
This will be the third straight All-Star weekend where women’s players will participate. Members of the U.S. Olympic team demonstrated the skills competition events in Tampa in 2018. Last year in San Jose four women did the same, and when Nathan MacKinnon pulled out of Fastest Skater Kendall Coyne Schofield took part and posted a time of 14.346, placing seventh.
NHL Shooting Stars
Last March Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin appeared in a video where they stood in the upper deck of PPG Paints Arena and shot pucks at a goal on the ice. This event, which will be the show closer, will be similar to that. Think Top Golf or Dude Perfect meets the NHL Skills Competition.
Eight NHL All-Stars and two women’s players will take part and each get seven shots at targets on the ice. The players will shoot from an area about 30-feet above the ice. On the ice will be targets that hold different point values.
If there should be a tie, players will shoot three pucks each to determine a winner. If the players remain tied after the three pucks, a sudden death “score-off” will occur.
Since the players will be shooting from above the seats, the NHL will move the protective netting usually set up behind one of the nets and stretch it above the fans in their seats in those sections.
The 2020 NHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place on Friday, Jan. 24 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and the 2020 NHL All-Star Game will be on Saturday, Jan. 25 (8 p.m. ET, NBC).
MORE NHL ALL-STAR GAME COVERAGE:
• All-Star Game rosters
• NHL All-Star Game captains
• All-Star Game coaches
• Pass or Fail: 2020 All-Star Game jerseys
• Alex Ovechkin will not play in 2020 All-Star Game