NHL All-Star Skills Competition: Seven Events That We Wish Were Added

Andrew EideCorrespondent IJanuary 26, 2012

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 29:  Keith Yandle #3 of the Phoenix Coyotes participates in the skills challenge relay during the Honda NHL SuperSkills competition part of 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend at the RBC Center on January 29, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition hits the ice in Ottawa Saturday night, and will highlight all of this year’s All-Stars in six challenges to show off their skill and athleticism. To many people, the Skills Competition is the highlight of the All-Star weekend. 

It’s fun, the players have a great time and we finally get to see some personality come out. The six Challenges are the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, the Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge, the Canadian Tire NHL Accuracy Shooting, the G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay, the BlackBerry NHL Hardest Shot and Tim Hortons NHL Elimination Shootout. 

These are the same competitions the NHL has featured for some time now. But what about the ones that just missed the cut? 

Bleacher Report has uncovered a list of Skill Competition Challenges that were in the mix to be added but were left out at the last minute. One quick disclaimer is in order. Your intrepid author made up everything in the previous sentence. 

So here are the seven challenges that we almost got to see. Maybe next year?  

The NHL Icing Challenge: A puck is shot down the length of the ice and two guys have to race for it. The first one to touch the puck wins the challenge. The normal NHL rules will be suspended so that hooking and tripping your opponent along the way are not only allowed, but encouraged. This will simulate the grit and speed it takes to make it in the NHL. This is the opposite of no-touch icing. 

Will there be gruesome hits? Yes. Will there be injuries? Most likely. Would we still watch it? Of course. 


The NHL Gauntlet Challenge: A group of All-Stars will line up along the boards as one NHLer will attempt to fight his way through them. This is a drill often used in practices and will favor the big tougher players. The player that fights his way through the fastest will win a point for his team. 

The Reebok NHL Bag Skate Challenge: Sure we love seeing how fast guys can skate. But how long can they go? This challenge will test the endurance of these fine athletes. The All-Stars will line up and skate. Skate and skate and skate. The last guy to puke will win the point for his team, a nice gold bucket and lot’s of bottled water. 

The Brad Marchand Clipping Challenge: To honor the “Little Ball of Hate” and his recent exploits, the NHLers will have to come up with excuses for a cheap shot hit. The more creative the better. The answers will be judged by a panel of celebrities including Barry Bonds, Bill Clinton and Alain Vigneault. Vigneault will be the toughest judge to impress as he will find most of the answers stupid. 

The Smart Water Diving Challenge: In this challenge the All-Stars will skate with the puck while a teammate waves a stick near them. The All-Star must then embellish and make it look like he was taken out at the knees. Points will be rewarded for most realistic dive with bonus points awarded for height of dive as well as distance.  

The Don Cherry-Mike Milbury Challenge: The All-Stars will be read a nonsensical, somewhat offensive statement and have to determine whether it was said by Don Cherry or Mike Milbury. This one could take a while because there are so many statements to go through.

Feel free to let us know who you think would have won these contests in the comment section.

 For more inane ramblings about hockey and life in general follow me on twitter @andyeide.