The NHL will once again use its All-Star weekend to showcase some of the best and brightest in women’s hockey. This year will see five international women’s hockey stars join the Skills Competition: United States forwards Alex Carpenter and Hilary Knight and Canadian forwards Sarah Nurse, Rebecca Johnston, and Emily Clark.
A trend began by Kendall Coyne Schofield’s participation in the Fastest Skater competition at the 2019 All-Star game, women’s hockey participation in men’s professional All-Star events has steadily increased since, mainly at the NHL and ECHL levels. The Athletic’s Hailey Salvian doesn’t believe this is confirmation that the five players will actually participate in the skills events, however, they will be involved somehow in the weekend’s events.
- Florida Panthers hometown fans at the All-Star game will see a familiar face: Hall-of-Fame netminder and Panthers legend Roberto Luongo. The only retired number in Panthers history, Luongo will suit up as the league’s “celebrity netminder” in the Breakaway Challenge. At last year’s All-Star Game in Las Vegas, the first Breakaway Challenge since 2016, women’s hockey legend Manon Rheaume and actor Wyatt Russell made appearances in the event.
- Lastly, the 2023 South Florida edition of the weekend will see three new events for the skills portion: the Enterprise NHL Splash Shot, Chipotle NHL Pitch ‘n Puck, and Discover NHL Tendy Tandem. The Splash Shot competition is a dunk-tank style target-based event with a twist: it takes place on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. The Pitch ’n Puck event is a hockey/golf combination, where players will compete using both hockey and golf shots to sink the puck (or ball) into a par-four hole. The Tendy Tandem event is all-goalie, with a tandem from each division competing as shooters and as netminders.