(Puck Daddy presents its annual look back at the year in hockey. Check back every day through the New Year for our many lists and hot takes.)
The institution of 3-on-3 overtime in the NHL has led to a decline in shootouts, which has also led to other leagues around the globe to do the same. Heck, the KHL, four months in their season, were like, “Hey, let’s do this!” and that happened just last week.
With the shootout still alive, there were plenty of goals of the creative variety this year from the many leagues around the world. We had to narrow it down to the 10 best, but we have goals here from the NHL, ECHL, junior hockey, Switzerland, and one very unique try from the KHL.
10. Vladimir Tkachyov busts out the javelin
During a preseason showcase, Tkachyov – a man who knows a thing or two about creative shootout attempts – decided that in honor of the Rio Olympic Games he would show off his javelin skills in hopes of a gold medal.
9. Sam Gagner makes Boston Bruins goalie look silly
Poor Zane MacIntyre. He thinks Gagner is going forehand, backhand to set up a shot but instead decides to back to his right and slot the puck home cleanly.
8. Linus Klasen channels the Russian Rocket
Everyone loved watching Pavel Bure play and his electric style apparently rubbed off on Klasen, who pulled off the Russian Rocket’s famous move for this attempt during Swiss league action.
7. Claude Giroux surgically removes a pair of ankles
How long did it take to locate Jaroslav Halak’s ankles after this dangle-icious display? From Giroux’s change in speed to the number of dekes here, the New York Islanders netminder had no chance.
6. Thomas Chabot’s smooth Forsberg
The Kent Nilsson/Peter Forsberg move is always a popular one for players to attempt in the shootout – and sometimes during actual play. This one by Chabot in QMJHL play was nice and clean.
5. Evan Rankin’s dipsy-doo
The poor South Carolina Stingrays goaltender thought he had Rankin stopped cold on the backhand but then the puck went between the Toledo Walleye forward’s legs in the other direction, leading to this silky smooth goal.
4. Nicklas Jensen beats Latvia with the Forsberg
Another Nilsson/Forsberg move but this was a biggie. During last May’s World Championship, Jensen had the game on his stick and pulled off the move to beat Latvia. It also gave us a pretty picture that should just be a stamp in Denmark already.
3. Josh Wilkins dips into his trick bag
During Carolina Hurricanes development camp, Wilkins, a local boy who was an invite, went with the Evan Rankin move but finished with a sweet backhand.
2. Linus Omark lights stick on fire during KHL Skills Competition
Omark has shown off creative moves throughout his career. He’s been featured on Puck Daddy many times, but his effort during the KHL Skills Competition last January was something extraordinary. It was so unique that even though he didn’t score we’re adding it to our year-end list.
After Johnny Gaudreau was denied his request during the 2015 NHL Skills Competition, the KHL was all for Omark lighting his stick blade on fire for his shootout attempt. He failed to score but that shouldn’t take away the fact that he TRIED TO SCORE WHILE HIS STICK BLADE WAS ON FIRE!
1. Damien Brunner shows off his magic hands
This one has a little bit of everything, from the Giroux dangles to the Pavel Datsyuk-like pullback to the celebration pose after clinching the game for Lugano of the Swiss league.
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