Stage set for EURO Skills event

All-Star Weekend will start with the Skills Competition next weekend in Lisbon’s MEO Arena, answering these burning questions:

  • Who is the EURO’s fastest man?
  • Who has the hardest shot?
  • Who is the most accurate shooter?

Here are some nuggets to chew on leading up to the event:

  • The home fans will be cheering for Lisbon’s own John Tavares … a lot. The talented center qualified to represent his team in all three events. Players competing in two events include Logan Couture (Athens), Claude Giroux (Belfast), Mark Stone (Bern), Phil Kessel (Dublin), Jamie Benn (Edinburgh), Taylor Hall (London), Erik Karlsson (Madrid), Patrick Kane (Minsk), Filip Forsberg (Munich), Alex Pietrangelo (Paris), Ilya Kovalchuk (St. Petersburg), and Bobby Ryan (Stockholm)
  • Somehow, neither Evgeny Malkin of Paris, nor Erik Forssell of Berlin made it to this year’s Skills Competition.
  • A fun twist has been added to the event this season. Three league officials will take part in the Skills events. Commissioner Chuck Massaro will try his luck in the fastest skater event with his 61 SP rating, accountant/secretary Rose will give it a go in the Hardest Shot event (74 rating) and Sepp Blatter, the league’s director of discipline and player safety, will compete in the Accuracy Shooting event (48 rating).

Event previews

There is a chance the ice might melt before the game. The temperature outside is expected to be in the mid teens (upper 40s in Farenheit), which isn’t excessively warm, but the skaters will be blazing in the Fastest Skater event. Sixteen of the 24 competitors have 100 SP ratings, so it’s really anybody’s race to win. Jonathan Toews of Bratislava (92 SP) is the slow poke of the bunch. Last year’s champ, Evander Kane, won’t get a chance to defend his title because he was beaten in Belfast’s team qualifier competition by Claude Giroux. Michael Grabner of London finished second to Kane last year, and Gothenburg’s Petr Vrana was third. Both are competing this year.

Here are the EURO’s Fastest Skater winners through six seasons:

  1. Steven Stamkos, Frankfurt (now Lisbon)
  2. Erik Karlsson, Madrid
  3. Steven Stamkos, Frankfurt
  4. Petr Vrana, Gothenburg
  5. Patrick Kane, Minsk
  6. Evander Kane, Belfast

The Hardest Shot competition has usually boiled down to Dustin Byfuglien and Shea Weber wearing a new jersey  versus a Bratislava defenseman (first Zdeno Chara and then Tyler Myers) with Ilya Kovalchuk as the dark horse. It’s the same this year, with Moscow’s Chris Stewart added as a possible favorite.

Here are the Hardest Shot winners through six seasons:

  1. Dustin Byfuglien, Milan
  2. Shea Weber, Oslo
  3. Shea Weber, London
  4. Shea Weber, Copenhagen
  5. Dustin Byfuglien, Athens
  6. Tyler Myers, Bratislava

The slickest wrist shots will be on display in the Accuracy Shooting competition, where Erik Karlsson of Madrid will be looking to win for the fourth time. Defensemen have won five of the previous six seasons, but out of the 24 teams, only three sent defensemen this year. Still, blueliners Karlsson and Alex Pietrangelo of Paris have to be considered among the favorites to take the title.

Here are the Accuracy Shooting winners through six seasons:

  1. Dustin Byfuglien, Milan
  2. Erik Karlsson, Madrid
  3. Kris Letang, Paris
  4. Erik Karlsson, Madrid
  5. Claude Giroux, Edinburgh
  6. Erik Karlsson, Madrid


Here is a look at who is representing each team in the Skills Competition. A random number will be drawn and averaged with the player’s skill number to produce a total.


All-Star Guide Book:



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