Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The 2015 NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition featured some friendly rivalry, dazzling individual performances and the goofball wackiness that’s come to characterize the event.
Here’s how it shook out for captain Jonathan Toews and captain Nick Foligno's teams:
Jonathan Drouin won’t be playing in Sunday’s All-Star Game, so he did all of his work during the Skills Competition. The Tampa Bay Lightning rookie won the Fastest Skater competition with a time of 13.103 seconds.
The event featured an opening leg battle between Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel, one night after the two were traded for each other. Well, again. Kessel got the best the Dallas Stars star, 13.596 to 13.631.
The goofiest event of the night featured some of the greatest highlights.
Team captain Nick Foligno was second overall with a time of 13.674.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 11 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The NHL All-Star Game Skills Competition has an event called the Breakaway Challenge that affords players the chance to act like prop comedians.
On Saturday night in Columbus, Johnny Gaudreau was that aforementioned prop.
Ryan Johansen, the Columbus Blue Jackets star, did was fan favorites do and invited a child to participate in his shootout routine. He skated the puck near the crease, stopped, retrieved the son of his team trainer, and then had him shoot the puck home. It was all quite adorable.
Jakub Voracek, the NHL’s leading scorer from the Philadelphia Flyers, needed some way to trump that attempt. So he decided to borrow that idea by using the smallest skater he could find to take the shot.
That would be the diminutive Calgary Flames rookie Johnny Gaudreau.
“He came up and asked me first if it was all right. I thought it would be pretty funny to do something like that,” said Gaudreau.
“To be honest, it was actually Ryan Suter’s idea. He came up to me and he said I should do it,” said Voracek. “I think that little kid was bigger than [Gaudreau]. Let’s be honest."
“I asked one of the player safety guys here and they said no,” he said.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 13 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – In the 1996 All-Star Game, the NHL debuted something that it felt would revolutionize its product on television.
But the less said about the FoxTrax glow puck, the better.
Nineteen years later, the NHL’s debuting another technological leap during All-Star weekend. It involves the puck. It involves lasers. But this time, they may have gotten it right and, in turn, changed the way we’ll watch hockey ... and quantify it.
“We’re trying to bring that in-arena experience to the living room. We’ve talked about it for years and years. And as the technology gets better, the closer we get to it,” said Mathieu Schneider of the NHLPA.
The NHL and the NHLPA debuted their new player tracking system during the skills competition, and plans on expanding it during Sunday’s All-Star Game. Sportsvision, the company behind real-time tracking and graphics in NASCAR and the NFL, embedded chips inside pucks and players’ jerseys that can measure quantitative data, puck and skating speed, puck trajectory, puck and player location, and ice time.
The technology could change the way we follow the game on television and on second screens.
In fact, it might.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 16 hrs ago
It's the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena in Columbus!
A fan favorite that has showcased hockey’s top talent at NHL All-Star Weekend since 1990, the event will be broadcast live on NBCSN in the U.S. and on CBC and TVA Sports in Canada at 7 p.m., ET.
Team Foligno, captained by forward Nick Foligno of the All-Star host Columbus Blue Jackets, will compete against Team Toews, led by Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, throughout the night for points in the overall team vs. team competition. Individual champions also will be crowned. The NHL All-Stars and rookies will participate in six events.
Join your friends at Yahoo Sports for a live chat starting at 7 p.m.!
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 17 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Hockey League hasn't formally started the expansion process yet. But when it does, they will look ouest before nord.
“To the extent our board makes a decision that expansion is something they’ll consider or pursue, which they haven’t yet, as an initial matter we have to look West first due to the geographic alignment of our teams,” said deputy commissioner Bill Daly, at the All-Star Game’s State of the NHL address from Gary Bettman.
“We have 14 teams in the Western Conference, 16 teams in the East. That’s an imbalance that we’ll want to remedy.”
That response was to the annual question from the French-language media about the NHL’s return to Quebec City, which is in the process of building a new arena. But when Bettman spoke about potential expansion, Quebec wasn’t mentioned in his remarks.
Las Vegas and Seattle were.
“I really have nothing new to report that I haven’t previously reported. Las Vegas is getting ready to launch the season ticket campaign,” said Bettman, “and we continue to get interest from others including Seattle. Their mayor visited and we had a nice chat.”
(Keep in mind the NHL celebrates its centennial in 2017.)
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 19 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Before announcing the return of the World Cup of Hockey, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman showed a highlight reel of past World Cups. The Canada Cups of the 1980s. The American’s World Cup win in 1996. History being made.
The 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will run at the Air Canada Centre from Sept. 17 to as late as Oct. 1, is seen by many critics as a “World Cup In Name Only.” Nostalgia for those moments can’t quite square with the product presented by the NHL on Saturday afternoon in Columbus, which features six nation teams, a “rest of Europe” all-star team and a team made up of 23-years-old-and-younger players from the U.S. and Canada.
“We think this will prove to be the most competitive tournament of this type ever played,” said Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA, before ripping off his suit and diving into a swimming pool of gold coins.
(Sorry, just daydreaming.)
If not the most competitive tournament, then the most profitable. The League will control the tournament. It will be played on NHL ice with NHL officials calling penalties on NHL players – well, for the most part.
- Now, about that Youngstars team.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
The NHL formally announced their slate of outdoor games for the 2015-16 season, confirming what had leaked over the last few weeks.
The Boston Bruins will host the Montreal Canadiens at Foxboro Stadium in the 2016 Winter Classic on Jan. 1.
The Minnesota Wild will host the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21 in the Stadium Series.
The Colorado Avalanche will face the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 27 at Coors Field. Coors is also the title sponsor of the Stadium Series.
It’s the first outdoor game for both the Wild and the Avalanche. The Boston Bruins are making their second appearance and first since the Fenway Park game in 2010. The Canadiens will be making their third appearance, having appeared in the 2003 and the 2011 Heritage Classics. The Red Wings last appeared in the 2013 Winter Classic at the University of Michigan, and are making their third appearance overall.
The Blackhawks will be making their fourth appearance in the outdoor games, and their third in three years.
Is it unfair to have one franchise play in so many outdoor games?
He also said that the number of outdoor games isn’t overkill.
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 21 hrs ago
Team Foligno and Team Toews have selected their competitors for the Saturday night Skills Competition, scheduled for 7 p.m. ET at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
Who wins? Check out the field.
Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater
Event description: Four players from each team will test their speed, facing off against an opponent in a two-skater race. The race track is the entire outside border of the ice. Timing devices will record each skater to determine who is the fastest. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams will be awarded one point. If, at the completion of the event, the skaters who tied have the fastest overall time, the skaters will race again to determine which team receives the bonus point. Five team points are available. The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the fastest skater scores one bonus point.
Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs
Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning
Jiri Sekac, Montreal Canadiens
Zemgus Girgensons, Buffalo Sabres
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars
Mike Hoffman, Ottawa Senators
Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers
Vladamir Taresenko, St. Louis Blues
Favorite: Seguin can flat-out fly.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 23 hrs ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – As usual, the National Hockey League’s big events are a reason for fans to come together, watch amazing athletes perform and celebrate the game while buying armloads of crap from the merchandise kiosks. Because, you know, that Winter Classic light-up pen will be passed down through the generations, we’re sure …
The 2015 NHL All-Star Game is no exception, and Puck Daddy went to the gear headquarters in the Columbus Fan Fest to find our favorite and least favorite items for sale on site.
Here are yours truly and Josh Cooper, with our favorite gear …
LOVE: Who will draft Zemgus Girgensons? All-humanity center Jonathan Toews? Local superstar Nick Foligno? It doesn’t matter on this gray t-shirt like jersey – remember how the unis are white and black? It’s the ambiguously neutral t-shirt!
The shirt’s great, but I have to cheat a little here and admit this is my favorite thing at the merch store …
HATE: There is just too much going on with this hat design … like so much.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy 1 day ago
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The NHL didn’t give much guidance to All-Star Game captains Jonathan Toews and Nick Foligno in Friday night’s Fantasy Draft, outside of when to have all of their goalies taken and when they had to fill out their defense.
But the League asked the teams for one thing: The first trade in the history of the All-Star draft.
So the players decided to revisit one of the most controversial trades in NHL history: The Phil Kessel Trade.
“We wanted to make some history, and there’s definitely history with those two guys,” said Rick Nash, alternate captain for Team Toews.
On Sept. 19, 2009, the Boston Bruins traded high-scoring winger Phil Kessel to the Toronto Maple Leafs for three draft picks – two first-rounders and a second rounder. Kessel, then 21, was a restricted free agent in a contract stalemate with the Bruins. Leafs GM Brian Burke wanted to make a statement, and aggressively traded away future assets for him.
Whenever the Leafs would enter TD Garden, chants of “THANK YOU, KESSEL!” would echo.
Seguin was selected fifth overall by Team Foligno, with alternate captain Patrick Kane noting the two played in Switzerland together during the 2012 lockout.