The National Hockey League on Friday announced the events that will showcase hockey's top talent in the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition on Saturday, Jan. 28 at Scotiabank Place during the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend in Ottawa. Live television coverage will be provided by CBC and RDS in Canada and NBC Sports Network in the United States beginning at 7 p.m., ET.
Skills competition format, scoring, rules
Team Alfredsson, captained by forward Daniel Alfredsson
of the All-Star host Ottawa Senators
, will compete against Team Chara, led by Boston Bruins
defenseman Zdeno Chara
, for points in the overall team vs. team competition. Individual champions also will be crowned. The NHL All-Stars and rookies will participate in six events:
* Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater
* Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge
* Canadian Tire NHL Accuracy Shooting
* G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay
* BlackBerry NHL Hardest Shot
* Tim Hortons NHL Elimination Shootout
Alfredsson and Chara, along with an alternate captain for each to be named later, will lead the team selection process during the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft on Thursday, Jan. 26 (8 p.m., ET, TSN, RDS, NBC Sports Network). They also will set their team rosters for the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills Competition. The determination of which players will participate in each event will be made on Friday, Jan. 27 and order of participation will be determined by the captains just before the start of each event. Each All-Star will be involved in no more than three events, excluding the Tim Hortons NHL Elimination Shootout™ finale.
Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater
Five players from each team compete, four All-Star skaters and one rookie. The contest will consist of five preliminary races, with the player posting the fastest time from each team meeting in one final match race. The race format is new this year: one skater from each team is positioned side-by-side on the start line. Both skaters race toward the same end zone, both turn outward, skate to the opposite end zone, turn back and skate past center ice to the finish line. Six team points are available -- one each to the winner of the six individual races.
Allstate Insurance NHL Breakaway Challenge
forward Alex Ovechkin
has made this event his own, winning the title in each of its first three years. A test of creativity a player can insert into a breakaway, three shooters (one rookie, two All-Stars) and one goaltender from each team will participate. Each skater will attempt three shots -- with no limits. Shooters can start their attempt from anywhere with full access to the offensive zone, including behind the net. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply. Fans in-arena and watching on television in Canada and the United States will be able to vote for their favorite player by texting the number that corresponds to the player of their choice to 81812. The shooter with the highest fan vote will score one point for his team.
Canadian Tire NHL Accuracy Shooting
Four players from each team (one rookie, three All-Stars) will compete, with four additional All-Stars from each team serving as passers. From 25 feet in front of the net, a shooter will take aim at four foam targets attached to the inner side of the goal posts, one target in each corner. The objective is to hit all targets in the fastest time. The player with the fastest time from each team will go head-to-head in the final round for the title of the NHL's most accurate shooter. Five team points are available, one to the winner of each individual matchup.
G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay
Introduced to acclaim in 2011, this event will feature 16 players from each team (two rookies, 14 All-Stars) and showcase a host of skills that include the "one-timer," passing, puck control, stickhandling and accuracy shooting. In the "one-timer" event, three shooters (with the assistance of one passer) must score three goals over an eight-inch barrier; in the passing event, one passer must complete a pass into each of six nets placed around the rink; in the puck control event, one skater will skate through a series of cones while keeping possession of the puck; in the stickhandling event, one skater will control the puck through a series of obstacles; and in the accuracy shooting event, one player will take aim at four targets. Two groups from each team will go through the relay -- one from each team in a pair of heats. Each skill must be completed before moving on to the next skill in this timed relay event worth a total of three points. The fastest team in each heat will earn one point and the team with the fastest combined time will earn one bonus point.
BlackBerry NHL Hardest Shot
There's a decent chance that Team Chara captain Zdeno Chara
of the Boston Bruins
will call his own number in this event. Chara not only won his fourth consecutive NHL Hardest Shot competition in 2011, but his blast of 105.9 mph broke the all-time record of 105.4 he set in 2009. Four players from each team (one rookie, three All-Stars) will compete in five head-to-head matchups. One contestant from each team will square off in each round, valued at one point each. The highest recorded shot (by radar in mph) of two attempts will be scored. The player from each team with the hardest single shot will meet in a final match to determine the NHL's hardest shooter. Five team points are available -- one to the winner of each of the four preliminary matchups and one to the winner of the finale.
Tim Hortons NHL Elimination Shootout
The battle between Team Alfredsson and Team Chara will be decided in this competition, when 15 participants from each side (one rookie, 11 All-Stars, three goaltenders), compete in a time-honored game of "hockey survivor." Shooters who score will move on to the next round in the shootout, with the All-Star goaltenders rotating after every third shooter. The event will continue until one player scores and the other(s) do not in a single round -- last goal wins. Every goal scored will count as one point for the goal-scorer's team.