NHL announces all new All-Star Skills Competition with a $1 million winner take all prize

NHL announces all new All-Star Skills Competition with a $1 million winner take all prize

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This just in, the NHL has announced an all new All-Star Skills Competition for All-Star weekend in Toronto this upcoming February.

The new event will feature 12 skaters in 8 competitions with a $1 million 'winner take all' prize.

More from the NHL's official press release announcement:

The NHL has reimagined the skills competition to showcase the best of the best, build drama throughout the night and crown an individual overall champion for the first time.

Twelve All-Stars each will compete in multiple events in the 2024 NHL All-Star Skills presented by DraftKings Sportsbook at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Feb. 2 (7 p.m. ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS). They will earn points based on the order of finish in each event.

“We wanted to do something that the players would have fun with and want to participate in,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” on Tuesday, comparing the format to the decathlon. “… We’ll crown an All-Star All-Star as the Skills champion, and that should be a lot of fun.”

The winner will receive $1 million.

“These guys are great at what they do,” NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer said Tuesday. “But not only are they going to have some fun out there on the ice, they are going to be ultracompetitive.”

The NHL has gotten creative again after trying outdoor All-Star Skills events in Las Vegas in 2022 and South Florida in 2023.

Mayer produced TV shows like “Battle of the Network Stars” at IMG before joining the NHL and always thought it would be interesting to use that kind of format in the All-Star Skills -- stars competing in multiple events with cumulative scoring.

Instead of spreading out 44 All-Stars among events to make sure each NHL team is represented as in the past, the NHL will select eight players from among the 44 All-Stars with input from the NHL Players’ Association and a nod to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I’m sure there will be a lean to the home team a little bit,” Mayer said.

The fans will select four more.

“We want to find 12 guys who are going to be engaged, who are the most skilled players in our league, who are big personalities, who are going to go really hard to win the title,” Mayer said.

Each will compete in four of the first six events: the Fastenal NHL Fastest Skater, Rogers NHL Hardest Shot, Upper Deck NHL Stick Handling, NHL One Timers, NHL Passing Challenge and Cheetos NHL Accuracy Shooting. First place will be worth five points, second place four points and so on.

The top eight will advance to the seventh event: the Honda NHL Shoot Out.

“The seventh event is so cool,” Mayer said. “Eight players will line up on one blue line, eight goalies will line up on the other, and the players -- one by one, from eighth place to first place -- will pick the goalie he wants to go up against.”

Who will pick whom? And how much will it level the standings? Again, first place will be worth five points, second place four points and so on.

“It’ll end with the guy in first place getting the hardest goalie, at least the one that’s left,” Mayer said.

The top six will advance to the final event: the Pepsi NHL Obstacle Course. The event will include all the skills, and it will be worth double the points. First place will be worth 10 points, second place eight points and so on.

“Somebody who is in sixth place could easily jump up and win the $1 million in the end,” Mayer said. “That’s another piece of this that makes it an intriguing competition that we think will resonate with our fans.”

The NHL will select 32 players for the 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend, one from each team. Fans will select 12 more players in the 2024 NHL All-Star Fan Vote presented by MassMutual in January.

The League will select captains from the pool of 44 players and pair them with celebrities for Tim Hortons NHL All-Star Player Draft on Feb. 1, and the captains will pick the four teams from the remaining players for the 3-on-3 tournament in the Honda/Rogers NHL All-Star Game on Feb. 3.

The player draft will headline NHL All-Star Thursday, a new event that also will include the NHL Alumni Man of the Year, Honoring the 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Canadian Tire Professional Women’s Hockey League 3-on-3 Showcase.

The NHL has worked with the NHLPA and individual players on everything, including the new All-Star Skills format.

“The PA has been on board from Day One,” Mayer said. “They are our partners. We’ve run everything by them. They love it. They think it’s great. And then because of them, we’ve had intros to specific players. Those specific players have given input as to what they feel should be included in a skills competition like this.

“Our broadcast networks are really leaning in. They think it’s great. Everybody that’s heard it from our standpoint has been really positive about it, so that gives us a lot of confidence going into this event.”

Source: NHL