New Events for the All-Star Skills Competition

Ah, All-Star Weekend. Everyone’s favorite punching bag. No one is happy, least of all the players there. “I could be on a beach like Henrik Lundqvist,” Jaromir Jagr is thinking bitterly. Admittedly, Nashville is a hell of a town, but still, I think we all agree the All-Star Weekend could use a little more spice. So here are some suggested new events to incorporate into next year’s Skills Competition

1. Karaoke, singles and group events
Not only would this test their taste in music and individual musical ability, it would also test their decision-making and teamwork. For maximum effect this should be done in a local bar.

Likely winner: Literally no one from the Canadiens

2. Cupcake baking and decoration
Many of the All-Stars are fathers. An important part of parenthood is baking with your children. This is a valuable life skill to know, and it would give some idea about who is helpful around the kitchen and who should not ever be allowed near an oven.

Likely winner: Aaron Ekblad, champion baker and PTA president


3. Improvisation
Now, most hockey players are godawful actors. There are hours and hours of commercials and one terrible episode of SNL to prove it. But because of diving rules, it is vital that they learn to sell their imaginary penalties. None of this “getting hit on the right side and limping off the ice holding your left.” If we have to live with diving–and we do–they at least better be good at it. Aside from that, improv teaches you to roll with what other people offer you. You have to accept someone else’s lead and work together. Important values!

Likely winner: PK Subban, not because he’s a notorious diver, but because he’s one of the few players with anything resembling charisma

4. Egg and Spoon race
The regular races are all well and good, but give them an egg to balance on a spoon. How else to test their balance and grace and the steadiness of their hands? Not to mention if they drop the egg, it’ll turn into a Mario Kart type of thing where they create an obstacle for the people behind them. For extra difficulty, make it an egg and spoon relay race.

Likely winner: Whichever team is the most patient/has a player who’ll micromanage the most. So probably whichever team Jonathan Toews is on.

5. Fastest gear strip
A valuable if underrated skill. After all, the faster you strip, the faster you get to the shower. Because this is a family show, we’ll only require them to strip down to the Under Armour. They’ll have to do it at center ice, though.

Likely winner: Those in the audience who are attracted to hockey players

6. Figure skating competition 
Skating ability is a highly touted aspect of any prospect. Plenty of NHL-ers do work with skating coaches to improve their game–why not add some actual tricks into it? Invite a few famous figure skaters to show them how to do a lutz or a spin. The KHL does it at their All-Star Game, and we aren’t gonna let those commies win, are we?

Likely winner: Let’s be honest, Jeff Skinner is a shoo-in.

7. Pictionary 
This would be a test of memory and artistic ability. To simplify things for the poor athletes, the only category would be NHL mascots and logos. Who pays attention at enemy rinks? Who has the artistry of a potato? These are important things to know.

Likely winner: Again, PK Subban, because he likes to draw

8. Reverse shootout
We’ve tried basically every possible way to make the shootout interesting and different, except for one: switch the goalies and the skaters. Each team picks three skaters to act as goalie – they’ll get gear- and the goalies will attempt their best breakaways. Which goalies can really skate?

Likely winner: The NHL, because getting a chance to play goalie might be the only way to convince Sidney Crosby to attend

9. Spelling Bee
I’m not going to ask them to spell antidisestablishmentarianism (although honestly that one is pretty easy if you just sound it out). No, we’ll simply ask them to spell different hockey terms and names.

Likely winner: Not Jordan Eberle, who once misspelled banana

10. Chicken Jousting 
By far the most important event of the entire skills competition. The smallest player on each team will sit on the shoulders of the tallest member and, with great skill and dedication, they will joust using hockey sticks. This is a test of balance, strength, and teamwork. Who can keep their feet? Who is the best at spearing? Who will think to make a MasterBlaster joke?

Likely winner: I would not bet against the combined power of Johnny Gaudreau and John Scott.

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