(Photo: Blue Jackets Facebook)
While much of Saturday’s NHL All-Star Skills Challenge event will be determined by team captains, one portion is back in fans’ hands–the Breakaway Challenge.
Five spots will be set by team captains, but one will be open to Twitter voters who can choose between the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ Brandon Saad, Colorado Avalanche‘s Matt Duchene, and the Detroit Red Wings‘ Dylan Larkin. Fans can vote using #NHLBreakawaySaad, #NHLBreakawayDuchene, and #NHLBreakawayLarkin from 11 a.m. CT Tuesday until 4 p.m. CT Thursday.
For the Breakaway Challenge, each team supplies one goalie. NHL Shootout rules do not apply. As in previous years, participants get two chances each, rotating teams.
As in previous years, shooters are judged on style, creativity, and flair.
As soon as the last shooter finishes, fans in-arena and watching in the U.S. and Canada can begin voting on Twitter using the hashtag of their chosen player, for example, #NHLBreakawayOvechkin, etc.
The shooter with the highest number of fan votes earns one point.
Each of the 44 All-Stars will participate in at least one of the skills competition’s six events:
- Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge
- Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater
- DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting
- Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay
- AMP Energy NHL Hardest Shot
- Discover NHL Shootout
For the fastest skater competition, four players for each team will compete in a one-on-one race around the track. The fastest skater of each matchup earns a point and the team with the fastest skater earns a point. A bonus point is awarded to a team if a skater is able to break Fedorov Gartner’s 1996 record of 13.386.
The DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting contest has four shooters from each team, plus two designated passers. The goal is for shooters to hit four 15-inch diameter targets at each corner of the net in the fastest time. This is a head-to-head matchup alternating on opposite sides of the rink.
The winner of each matchup wins a point and a bonus point is awarded to the fastest shooter.
The Gatorade Skills Challenge Relay features 14 skaters and two goalies from each team with four relays and five challenges including: one-timers with three shooters and one passer per team; passing, with one passer per team; puck control, with one skater per team; skate handling, with one skater per team; and goalie goals, with one goalie per team.
Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next.
Points are awarded to the team with the fastest score in each heat and the fastest overall score.
The AMP Energy Hardest Shot challenge has four shooters from each team firing their hardest possible slap shots to the net with clocked speeds. The pucks are placed 30 feet from the net and speed is measured in miles per hour (mph).
The winner of each match-up is awarded a point and the team with the hardest shot receives a bonus point.
The Discover NHL Shootout consists of three rounds with 18 skaters and three goaltenders. For each two-minute round, six skaters and one goalie from each team takes the ice with teams alternating after each shot. Players one and three from each team use a special Discover puck worth two points. NHL shootout rules apply to each scoring attempt and shooters have a maximum of 10 seconds to shoot.
Live television coverage of the Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition starts at 6 p.m. CT Saturday, Jan. 30 and the Honda NHL All-Star Tournament starts at 5 p.m. CT Sunday, Jan. 31 on NBCSN in the U.S. and Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada.
The Fan Fair
This is Nashville’s first time hosting the All-Star activities and they have four days of activities planned for visitors with their 2016 NHL Fan Fair.
The Music City Center is being transformed into 250,000 square feet of interactive hockey fun sponsored by Bridgestone, according to an NHL press release.
From 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT Thursday, Jan. 28 and Friday, Jan. 29 and from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, an NHL fan pass allows access to:
- NHL Mascots
- A photo with the Stanley Cup
- An NHL Trophy Showcase, including the Hart, Vezina, Norris, and others
- Meet-and-greet past and present hockey legends
- NHL player Q&A at the NHL Fan Fair Theater
- Visit the “Hockey in the State of Tennessee” Hall of Fame exhibit
- Test shooting accuracy in the Bridgestone Shootout
- Live country music performances nightly–including Dierks Bentley, Lonestar, Big&Rich, and more
- Create-your-own Upper Deck trading card
- Test your hockey skills in the Honda All-Star skills zone
- Collect rare hockey memorabilia
- Take kids to the McDonald’s Kid’s Zone
- Lace up on the outdoor ice rink constructed for the All-Star Weekend
Price (Single Day)
$15 Children (Ages 3 to 12)
$15 Seniors (Ages 65 and over)
$15 College/Military (must show ID at entrance)
Children 2 and under: Free
Four Day Mobile Pass
$60 (Good for One Entry Each Day of Operation)