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All-Star Game

NHL Shooting Stars could provide most unique moments of All-Star Skills

Marner, Seguin among players who will aim at targets on ice from platform in crowd

by Mike Zeisberger @Zeisberger / NHL.com Staff Writer

ST. LOUIS -- Mitchell Marner said the strangest shooting drill he's ever done involved shooting pucks from a dock into a net set on a raft floating on a lake.

Until Friday, that is.

The Toronto Maple Leafs forward will be part of a new event at 2020 NHL All-Star Skills presented by New Amsterdam Vodka (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS) called the Gatorade NHL Shooting Stars, which will feature players standing on a platform in the stands 30 feet above the ice, shooting at various targets at Enterprise Center.

 

[RELATED: Complete 2020 NHL All-Star Game Coverage]

 

"It's a unique setup," Marner said. "It's going to be fun and interesting how it works out.

"Shooting off a dock is one thing. But this is at another level."

Marner will be going against David Pastrnak (Boston Bruins), Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary Flames), Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Tyler Seguin (Dallas Stars), Brady Tkachuk (Ottawa Senators), David Perron (St. Louis Blues), Ryan O'Reilly (St. Louis Blues), and one Women's Elite All-Star each from the United States and Canada.

Tweet from @NHL: Who will be the first-ever @Gatorade NHL Shooting Stars champion? 📺: 2020 #NHLAllStar Skills presented by @NewAmsterdam TONIGHT at 8 ET on @NHLonNBCSports and @Sportsnet pic.twitter.com/pE3fCyGZVg

"I have no idea what to expect," Pastrnak said. "I mean, I've never done anything like this before. I'm not sure anyone has.

"I think it's something the fans will really enjoy."

So does Seguin, who headed to Enterprise Center on Thursday after All-Star Game Media Day to practice the new event.

"We'll see how it goes but it should be pretty cool," he said.

The Gatorade NHL Shooting Stars and the Elite Women's 3-on-3 presented by adidas are the two events being introduced this year, joining returning events the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, the Bud Light NHL Save Streak, Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting, and the Enterprise NHL Hardest Shot.

Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid has won the Fastest Skater competition for three consecutive seasons and is the favorite to win it again.

Video: Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater Recap

"Who can beat him?" Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson said. "I'm trying to think of guys that might be able to do it. Maybe, well … nope, I don't think anyone will."

Kane said he always enjoyed watching the Accuracy Shooting while he was growing up.

"I remember Ray Bourque nailing four shots in four targets," he said about the former NHL defenseman. "That was really cool to see.

"For me, though, watching the Hardest Shot is my favorite."

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber will be gunning for his fourth title in the Hardest Shot. He won it in 2015 and 2016 as a member of the Nashville Predators and most recently in 2017, with the Canadiens.

Video: Oscar Mayer NHL Hardest Shot Competition Recap

His winning blast in 2015 of 108.5 miles per hour is the second-hardest ever, 0.3 mph off the record of 108.8 set in 2012 by Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, who will not participate this year.

"I think the whole evening is going to be great," said Arizona Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet, who will coach the Pacific Division. "Watching the Canadian and U.S. women play 3-on-3, it's going to be very competitive. The hardest shot, fastest skaters, those are must-see events."

Tocchet, who played in the All-Star Game four times, was asked which event he'd participate in if he was still playing.

"Target shooting. Because it doesn't involve skating," he laughed.

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