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Greatest Moments from the Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition

by Brian McCormack / Columbus Blue Jackets

What a bunch of show-offs!

As hockey fans prepare for the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Columbus, it’s fun to reminisce on the great moments and performers in All-Star games past, whether it’s Dany Heatley’s four-goal game, Owen Nolan calling his shot, or Gordie Howe going out for one more spin in front of the fans at Joe Louis Arena.

It’s easy to forget that the more competitive night may actually come the night before, when these world-class trick-shot specialists will put their pride and talents on full display at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition. On Jan. 24, players will compete in six events: Fastest Skater, Breakaway Challenge, Accuracy Shooting, the Skills Challenge Relay, Hardest Shot, and Elimination Shootout, showing off their mind-blowing skills through a series of obstacles and challenges.

It’s a blast to watch and it reminds us that the All-Star Game isn’t the only event that builds memories. There have been some downright incredible performances in the Skills Competition as well. Here are some favorites!

2012 Fastest Skater Competition

As the Skills Competition has evolved, the individual events have been altered from time to time. The Fastest Skater Competition was at one time a full lap around the rink. That format has changed in recent years, with forwards now skating from the blue line to one end zone, turning towards the boards and racing to the opposite end zone, and then turning once again to the middle of the ice and racing down the center of the rink back to the starting blue line. With the change in format it is hard to fairly judge the present race times against those of the past, but regardless, 2012 was  impressive.

Carl Hagelin of the Rangers was a sixth-round pick in the 2007 NHL Draft and Colin Greening was a seventh-round pick in 2005 of the host Senators, but both found themselves at center ice racing during All-Star weekend. The two rookies didn’t disappoint, putting up the best times of the competition. Hagelin finished at 12.993 but Greening was just ahead at 12.963. With the blazing times, the two would have to go again against each other, this time Hagelin squeaking out a win at 13.218, beat Greening by less than a tenth of a second.

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