Photo: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
According to ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski, a new skills competition is set to debut during the 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, which begins on January 24. This contest will feature players shooting pucks from the stands, over the fans, and at targets on the ice.
From a section above the lower bowl of seats, eight players will shoot pucks below to circular targets on the ice. Point values will differ depending on the difficulty of the shot attempt. Higher point values are factored in if a player hits the target right in the center.
“It’s hockey meets Topgolf,” a source told ESPN, in reference to the well-known driving range.
Last season, Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and center Evgeni Malkin shot pucks from Section 220 of PPG Paints Arena into an open net on the ice.
Hey @NHL, should we add this to the 2020 All-Star Skills comp? 😉
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) March 11, 2019
This competition will be the final event of the evening. The league will be taking safety precautions to those seated below the indented flight path and in lower sections. The protective netting behind the goal will be “reconfigured” and stretched above fans in those sections.
On Monday morning, Emily Kaplan of ESPN reported a women’s 3-on-3 event will also debut during the skills competition. The scrimmage will feature top American and Canadian women’s hockey players.
By Della Young