Kopitar vs. Ovechkin at Super Skills Event

In a few short hours the second wave of this year’s NHL All Star Weekend will get underway with the popular Super Skills Competition.

Team captains Nicklas Lidstrom and Eric Staal met with Brendan Shanahan, NHL Vice President of Hockey and Business Development, earlier this morning to determine which of their players would participate in each event.

Last night, the Kings’ Anze Kopitar was selected by Lidstrom in the 15th round (30th overall) of the All Star Fantasy Draft. He now knows which events his team captain has assigned him to…

First, he’ll be part of a three-man unit (also comprised of Florida’s Evgeny Dadonov and Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin) taking part in the Breakaway Challenge.

Fans at home will be allowed to vote on the winner of this event – something that will certainly be needed for Kopitar’s group, as they’re taking on Alexander Ovechkin (the two-time defending champion of this event), Corey Perry and PK Suban.

NHL.com describes the event as “Each skater will attempt four shots – with no limits. Shooters can start their attempt from anywhere with full access to the offensive zone, including behind the net. NHL penalty shot rules do not apply.”

During the live television broadcast fans will be given instructions on how to vote for their favorite goal scorer.

His second event will be the Hardest Shot, where both teams will start with five players. After each man has shot twice, the players from each team with the hardest single shot will meet in a final match.

Kopitar’s Team Lidstrom partners will be Steven Stamkos, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Burns, Shea Weber and Cam Fowler.  Once again, they’ll be taking on a group that includes the reigning event champion.  Team Staal will be Zdeno Chara (three time defending champion and all-time record holder at 105.4 miles an hour), Ovechkin, David Backes, Tyler Seguin, Rick Nash and Patrick Sharp.

All events can be seen live on VERSUS beginning at 4pm PST.

One interesting note was that immediately after announcing the player assignments for the events, the NHL was quick to point out “The order is subject to change and there might be a few last-minute strategic changes in which players compete in which events.”

With that said, it looks like Kopitar could be removed from or added to other events.

The Mayor
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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.