Before tonight's Skills Competition gets underway, Erik Karlsson answered a few questions at today's All-Star Media Day and we've got some of the highlights below.
On taking part in the new 4 Line Challenge event at the Skills Competition:
We do it every once in awhile at practice in order to get off the ice. I think I've done it once and I missed so it's going to be interesting to do that but we'll see how it goes. I think if you get in your rhythm early it's going to help and if you start missing the panic is going to start creeping in.
On meeting some of the legends at last night's NHL 100 players event:
I met Mike Bossy. He's a true gentleman and a very nice guy. I met his granddaughter and signed a book for her right under Bobby Orr. He made sure I did that so that was something that I'll remember for a long time. He was a very classy guy and someone that I haven't met before. For his age he looked amazing and he is very well spoken so I hope that when that time comes around for me I'll be the same.
His thoughts on the Swedish players including in the NHL's top 100 players list:
A lot. I think Salming is before my time. Obviously, I know who he is and what he's done but I didn't get to watch him play since I wasn't born at that time. As for Forsberg, Lidstrom and those guys, what they did for Team Sweden and playing for the national team was what we watched the most when I was growing up. Those are the guys that truly inspired us to really want to play hockey and become really good because coming from a small community we didn't really have that part of life or know what it was. They did a lot for a young guy like me growing up in the 1990's.
On taking part in All-Star Weekend:
There's always something a little bit different every year. I've been to a lot of them now and every one I go to I always leave amazed that they keep improving every year. This year, I've only been here for one day and I haven't been to the arena yet but I think that it's going to be the best one so far.
On being more familiar with the All-Star format this year:
I think last year we didn't really know what to expect or what to do or how it was going to go. This year, it's going to be a little bit more comfortable and I think that it's going to be a little bit better. The format that they chose for this is a lot better than it used to be and I think the fans and players are enjoying it more which makes it even better.
On how the format increases the competition:
I think because it's 3-on-3 it forces you to try a little harder because it's so wide open. You don't want to make a fool of yourself so you have to try a little bit. It makes guys have a little more space and want to do things with the puck and show off their skills.