Well well well things have gotten very interesting indeed.
Last night during the National Hockey League's All Star week end we saw an interesting twist to the skills competition that we had not seen before, the participation of a female hockey player. That player was of course Kendall Coyne Schofield who participated in the fastest skater competition finishing 7th out of the 8 contestants who engaged in that particular event, showcasing that some of hockey's ladies can hang with the boys when it comes to certain aspects of the game.
The move was a highly controversial one, although I personally did not see the big deal, as some purists felt that the skills competition and the All Star week end's events as a whole should be reserved for the very best players in the NHL. Regardless of how you feel about the situation there's very little question that it was a public relations success for the league, garnering plenty of media coverage which you can bet is exactly what the National Hockey League was looking for when they decided to go this route.
That being said while all the attention has been on Schofield following the skills competition, one woman who truly stole the show has largely been ignored. Brianna Decker also participated in the skills competition last night however unlike Schofield she was technically not an official participate in the passing challenge in which she competed. The eventual winner of that particular challenge proved to be Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl who walked away with a cool $25,000 for his efforts on the evening. There was just one problem in the eyes of many however, Draisaitl had not recorded the fastest time.
Although not officially participating in the event Decker's performance on the ice was actually better than what any of the NHL players before her had managed, including Draisaitl himself, prompting many to argue that she should have been declared the winner. Now that's not going to happen given that, again, she was technically not a part of the competition but that does not mean that her incredible performance will not be recognized. Hockey brand CCM has stepped up and announced that it will give Decker a $25,000 award for her display of talent and although this is likely a marketing decision on CCM's part, and a very good one at that, it's great that Decker will be rewarded for the event that she really did win.