Throwback Thursday Top 10: top NHL SuperSkills Competition moments
Since 1990, the Skills Competition has provided its share of entertainment during the National Hockey League’s annual All Star Game weekend. From Ray Bourque’s accuracy to Alex Ovechkin’s speed and Zdeno Chara’s slap shot, hockey players have displayed their athletic ability on this stage, while providing other forms of entertainment from fun to outlandish.
In two days, the SuperSkills Competition returns for the first time since the 2012 All Star Game in Ottawa. But before the game’s finest players display their athleticism in Columbus, let’s take a look at the top 10 moments of the NHL SuperSkills Competition.
10. Matt Duchene’s honesty
We kick off the countdown with Matt Duchene revealing his favorite drink to Doc Emerick during All Star weekend in 2011. Duchene, Born January 16, 1991, was still under the legal drinking age at this time, but that didn’t stop him from talking about adult beverages.
9. Tim Thomas vs. Cam Ward in a…goalie race
The fastest skater competition is often one filled with grace with guys like Mike Gartner and Peter Bondra highlighting the annual showdown. A little bit of spice was added to the 2011 event in Raleigh where Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward and, of course, former Bruin Tim Thomas decided to go one on one.
Thomas took a tumble in the first turn, but did recover nicely to keep things close. In the end, Ward’s time of 16.843 seconds was good for first, while Timmy wasn’t too far behind at 16.895.
8. Rick DiPietro has a potty mouth
Aside from his expensive contract extension in 2007 and the injuries that came after that, former Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro was also known for dropping a few expletives in the 2008 version of the Skills Competition in Atlanta. A friendly warning, this language is NSFW.
7. Alex Ovechkin’s bloopers during hardest shot competition
The only player to be on this list twice is Alex Ovechkin. Both of these moments are pretty comedic, for better or worse.
Let’s just say his display during the 2011 hardest shot competition wasn’t his best. But at least the Russian superstar took it in stride.
6. Is that Tim Tebow or Carey Price?
The Tim Tebow phenomenon was red hot during this time, and Carey Price couldn’t help but mimic the “Tebow” pose vs. John Tavares in the breakaway challenge during the 2012 SuperSkills competition.
5. Carl Hagelin breaks Mike Gartner’s finals time in fastest skater competition
In 1996, Boston fans were in awe when Mike Gartner posted a time of 13.386 seconds, which broke a record he previously established in 1993 at 13.510. That record stood until the most recent SuperSkills competition in 2012 when Rangers forward Carl Hagelin breezed by Ottawa’s Mike Greening in the finals, and in the process, posted a time of 13.218
4. Ovechkin steals the show
At a time where Ovechkin’s rivalry with Evgeni Malkin was at an all time high (both on and off the ice), the Caps forward got an unexpected assist from the fellow Russian, and the rest is history.
3. Al Ifrate shatters hardest shot record
Before Barry Melorse’s mullet became famous, Al Ifrate’s haircut was the stuff of legend. The latter, however, made the most of his on-ice frame when he broke the hardest shot record in 1993 with a shot of 105.2 miles per hour. That record set in the old Montreal Forum stood until 2009 (see No. 2)
2. Zdeno Chara breaks Ifrate’s hardest shot, again and again
Ifrate’s record held until 2009 when the Bruins captain shattered it at the Habs’ “new” home – the Bell Centre. Chara kept breaking his own record in the years following and in 2012 set the all-time mark at 108.8 MPH after going head to head with Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators.
1. Ray Bourque’s perfection
A list of the best NHL SuperSkills Competition moments wouldn’t be a good one without mentioning Ray Bourque in the accuracy shooting. The former Bruins captain was the first All-Star to go a perfect 4-for-4 in this event – doing it twice in 1992 and 1993.