Five Ways to Spruce Up the NHL SuperSkills Competition (Humor)

Matthew BleibergCorrespondent IJanuary 16, 2009

As some of you know, the NHL has decided to implement "changes" for next Saturday's SuperSkills competition.

Changes include the "fan-friendly," 60-second NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge—hockey's version of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. 

After seeing All-Stars fail to headbutt pucks into the net and Alexander Ovechkin try his un-patented "Baseball Shot" four times, you, the fan get to vote for the winner via the Internet or through text messaging.

I mean, how cool is that? I don't know about you, but that gets my heart pumping.

In addition, the NHL decided to change the 3-on-3 YoungStars East vs. West game to a freshman-sophomore battle.

I'm quite excited to see if Brandon Dubinsky wins his second straight YoungStars MVP. That's got to rival Johnny Vander Meer's back-to-back no-hitters.

I am obviously being facetious. However, the SuperSkills competition needs a total overhaul, and below are five new, and very specific events, that will get fans' attention, even if some of the competitors are not All-Stars.


Event No. 1: Sidney Crosby vs. U.S. Olympian in a diving competition

This event was going to be fourth, but Crosby whined to me for about an hour, and pleaded his case to make this first. I unfortunately relented.

Much is known of Crosby and what he would call "unintentional" diving on the ice. Well, let's see how he fares against U.S. Olympic diver David Boudia in an actual diving contest. 

Now, one would think Boudia would have an advantage, but Crosby averages 22.7 dives per game.

The two will dive from scaffolding just above the ice into a tub of Crosby's tears. I hear Crosby has a 540 front flip dive up his sleeve.


Event No. 2: Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo in a Flopping Duel

You can't have a Sidney Crosby diving competition without a goalie flopping battle.

Let's pretend Martin Brodeur woke up the morning of the SuperSkills competition and his left elbow was completely healed.

One All-Star will skate from center ice to each net, gently tapping Brodeur and Luongo on the chest.

The two goalies would habitually flop, and the distance of each flop will be measured by decorated U.S. track-and-field athlete Carl Lewis.

As part of his appearance contract, Lewis would also sing the national anthems of both Canada and the United States.


Event No. 3: Jared Boll and Riley Cote in an Alexander Semin deathmatch

These two enforcers will each have six-inch acrylic tips glued on to their nails. The tips will bear each player's team colors. Boll and Cote will meet at center ice to begin this brutal match.

The two are required to slap each other while they strategically try to use their elongated nails as a weapon.

The winner will be declared after forcing the other skater to cry or fall down.

The as-tough-as-they-come Semin will present the victor with a gold Gucci pocketbook.

Event No. 4: Alexander Ovechkin and Jeff Carter in an arcade game shootout

What better way to find out which All-Star has the most accurate shot than having the combatants compete in classic arcade shooter games?

This "shootout" competition will be shown on the big screen atop the Bell Centre ice.

Ovechkin and Carter, who are one and two in shots-on-goal in the NHL, will play one of the trailblazing arcade shooter games, Lethal Enforcers.

After this adrenaline-pumped classic, the two will battle it out in Time Crisis II.

One point is given to the last skater standing after each game. If after both games Ovechkin and Carter have one point, the two will face off in an adrenaline-packed, sudden-death game, The House of the Dead.

By now, the arena fans will be pumped for the final event, the OldStars game.


Event No. 5: OldStars Game

While the 3-on-3 YoungStars game has its moments, nothing can compare to what would be the first-ever OldStars game.

Each skater will use a cane instead of a hockey stick, and the puck will be a bottle of Centrum Silver.

To balance out the ages of these "senior" players, the two goalies will come from a local Montreal AA Peewee team.

Though a couple of people on the rosters below are currently injured, it won't make that much of a difference—plus, they can use the canes to skate around.

Team Metamucil

Claude Lemieux-F, Bill Guerin-F, Sergei Zubov-D

Team Ensure

Gary Roberts-F, Jeremy Roenick-F, Chris Chelios-D

Well, that should about put me out of the running for any job in the NHL.


When you watch the SuperSkills competition next Saturday and Sidney Crosby shoots a puck between his legs, think to yourself—wow, wouldn't it be great if he dove into a vat of his own tears?

Wouldn't it?


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