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Giordano, Gaudreau set for All-Star Skills Competition

by Jason Johnson / Calgary Flames



NASHVILLE, TN
-- Mark Giordano and Johnny Gaudreau will put their skills on display Saturday.

Pacific Division captain, John Scott, along with Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (Central Division), helped select the Western Conference players for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday (5 p.m. MT; Sportsnet).

Giordano was selected as one of the one-timer left shooters as part of the Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay.

The Calgary Flames captain will also take part in the first round of the Discover NHL Shootout, a breakaway competition where 18 shooters are broken up into three rounds -- six skaters each -- alternating with a maximum of 10 seconds to take a shot.

A big fan of the NHL Skills Competition, Giordano is looking forward to watching the event as well as participating.

"I think for me the hardest shot, the fastest skater and the target shooting are always the ones that I look forward to," Giordano said. "Number one I would say is the hardest shot, I really look forward to that and see if those guys can get even higher than they did last year."

Gaudreau was selected for the puck control relay, which is part of the Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay, a timed relay event – involving 14 skaters and two goalies from each team – will consist of four relays with five challenges each.

The skilled forward will also take part in the second round of the Discover NHL Shootout relay.

Skaters for the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge have yet to be determined but should Gaudreau be picked, he knows he won't be lighting his stick on fire, a request he made at last year's competition in Columbus that was shut down by the league.

Former NHL forward Linus Omark recently took a page out of Gaudreau's book and lit his stick blade on fire for a shootout competition in the KHL All-Star Skills Competition.

"He took my idea, I wanted to do that last year and they wouldn’t let me," Gaudreau said. Who knows, maybe this year they might let me. It would be fun. I’ll maybe try to sneak it in there, we’ll see."

Girodano suggested his teammate should up the ante when it comes to the event.

"I was saying the other day maybe we’ll lite his whole body on fire and send him down there," Giordano chuckled. "I’d like to see him go in it again and we’ll try and figure something out. We’ve been talking about it a little but we’ll see if he actually goes down and takes one of those breakaways."

Here is a look at the six events:

Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater

Four players from each team will test their speed, facing off against an opponent in a two-skater race. The race track for the head-to-head match-ups is the border of the rink split in half lengthways. Timing devices will record each skater to determine the winner of each match. If a race ends in a tie, each of the teams will be awarded one point. The skater with the fastest time in the head-to-head match-ups will skate a full lap of the outside border of the rink, in the direction of their choosing, in an attempt to break Mike Gartner's record (13.386). If, at the completion of the event, two skaters are tied for the fastest overall time, both skaters will skate a full lap of the rink in an attempt to break the historical best record.

Points Available: 6 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the fastest skater scores a bonus point; if the fastest skater is successful in breaking Mike Gartner's record an additional bonus point will be awarded.

Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings; Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets; Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators; Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins; Roman Josi, Nashville Predators; Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche; Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers; Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets

Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge

Fans will have two opportunities to exercise their vote in the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge. While five spots will be determined by team captains, one guaranteed spot in this event will be determined by the fans, who will vote on Twitter as part of the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge Fan Vote campaign.

The eligible candidates are forwards Matt Duchene of the Colorado Avalanche, Dylan Larkin of the Detroit Red Wings and Brandon Saad of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Fans can vote via Twitter for their favorite eligible player by including his hashtag -- #NHLBreakawayDuchene, #NHLBreakawayLarkin or #NHLBreakawaySaad. Voting opened Tuesday and close Thursday at 3 p.m. MT.

Each team will provide one goalie to participate in this challenge. Each shooter will attempt two shots, and teams will alternate after each shot. Style, creativity, and flair are encouraged. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply.

As soon as the last competitor completes his routine, fans in-arena and watching on television in the U.S. and Canada will get another opportunity to make their case on Twitter by casting their vote using the hashtag that corresponds to the player of their choice. The shooter with the highest fan vote will be crowned the Honda NHL Breakaway Challenge winner and score one point for his team.

Points Available: 1 – The shooter with the highest percentage of fan votes scores one point.

Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets; Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals; P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens; Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils; James Neal, Nashville Predators; Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche; Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks; Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

DraftKings NHL Accuracy Shooting

Four shooters from each team will participate, with two additional players serving as passers. This event will consist of four head-to-head match-ups, with one shooter from each team per round. The goal is to hit four 15-inch diameter targets located in each corner of the net. The teams will be situated at opposite ends of the rink, and will alternate attempts. The first shooter to hit all four targets wins.

Points Available: 5 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the player who hits all four targets in the fastest time scores the bonus point.

John Tavares, New York Islanders; Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks, Jaime Benn, Dallas Stars

Passers: Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals; Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

Gatorade NHL Skills Challenge Relay

This timed relay event – involving 14 skaters and two goalies from each team – will consist of four relays with five challenges each: One Timers, with three shooters and one passer per team; Passing, with one passer per team; Puck Control, with one skater per team; Stick-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 challenge with the exception of one timers, passing and goalie goals in which a maximum of forty-five seconds will be allocated. The goal is to finish all five challenges faster than the opponent.

Points Available: 3 - The team with the fastest time in each heat scores one point; the team with the fastest overall time scores one bonus point.

One-timer right shooters: Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers; Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning; Shea Weber, Nashville Predators; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Craig Perry, Anaheim Ducks

One-timer passers: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers

Mini-net passer: Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals; Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Puck control relay: Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes; Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames

Stick Handling: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Goalie Goals: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

One-timer left shooters: Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs; Ryan O'Reilly, Buffalo Sabres; Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames; James Neal, Nashville Predators; Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues

One-timer passer: Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers; Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche

Mini-net passer: Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals; Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars

Puck Control relay: Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins; Roman Josi, Nashville Predators

Stick handling: Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings; Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars

Goalie Goals: Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning; Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild

AMP Energy NHL Hardest Shot

Four shooters from each team will test their slap shot skill in a head-to-head match-up. Each player will attempt two shots, with teams alternating after each player. One puck will be placed 30 feet from the center of the net. Each shot will be calculated in miles per hour (mph), with the highest speed of their two shots recorded.

Points Available: 5 – The winner of each match-up scores one point; the team with the player who has the fastest speed scores one bonus point.

Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers; Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning; P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens; Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets; Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars; John Scott; Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

Discover NHL Shootout

18 skaters and three goaltenders from each team will participate in the three-round shootout. During each two-minute round, six skaters and one goalie from each team will take the ice. Teams will alternate after each shot with each player having a maximum of 10 seconds to take a shot. Players one and three from each team will be designated Discover puck players, each goal scored by these players will count as two points. NHL shootout rules apply to each scoring attempt.

Points Available: 1 point for every goal scored; 2 points for every goal scored with a Discover puck.

Shootout Round 1: Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins; Jaromir Jagr, Florida Panthers; P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens; Ryan O'Reilly, Buffalo Sabres; Leo Komarov, Toronto Maple Leafs; Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers; Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers; Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks; Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche, Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks; Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames; Vladimir Tarasenko, St. Louis Blues; Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks; Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild

Shootout Round 2: Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins; Nicklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals; Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning; Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals; Ryan McDonagh, New York Rangers; Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes; Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals; Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers; Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars; James Neal, Nashville Predators; Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames; Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets; John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks

Shootout Round 3: Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers; Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings; John Tavares, New York Islanders; Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins; Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators; Brandon Saad, Columbus Blue Jackets; Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils; John Scott; Shea Weber, Nashville Predators; Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars; Craig Perry, Anaheim Ducks; Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings; Roman Josi, Nashville Predators; Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

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