Here’s what you missed from the return of Breakaway Challenge

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LAS VEGAS — The NHL All-Star Skills Competition has its traditional events like hardest hit and fastest skater. But on Friday night in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of the weirdest competitions in the event’s history was held for the first time since 2016: The Breakaway Challenge, a prop comedy trick-or-treating event. This is an event where players dress up as Superman and Chewbacca; who has seen players use two sticks to score while wearing sunglasses; and everyone from the players’ children to country music stars participated in attempted shootings.

Friday night’s event at T-Mobile Arena set a new standard for hockey weirdness. Here’s a look at the goals, which were judged by a celebrity panel, with the players involved explaining their inspiration and execution.

Kirill Kaprizov, Minnesota Wild

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin was unable to attend the All-Star Game after entering the NHL’s COVID protocol on Tuesday. Kaprizov honored him by taking his shootout attempt in an Ovechkin jersey and ending it with a tribute to the Capitals captain’s “hot stick” celebration he performed when he scored his 50th goal during the 2008-09 season. “I only found out yesterday that I was going to take on this challenge, so I got an idea from the NHL people that it was something I could do,” Kaprizov said, through ‘an interpreter. Ovechkin’s reaction on Twitter? “Not bad!”


Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks

Zegras didn’t make the All-Star Game, but the NHL invited him to the skills contest thanks to the rookie’s scoring goals in lacrosse and passing behind the net this season.

Like any 20-year-old, he took the opportunity to pay tribute to the 2004 sports comedy “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.” Zegras skated dressed as Vince Vaughn’s character Peter La Fleur from the Average Joes. NHL mascots threw dodgeballs at him during his shootout attempt. It wouldn’t be Trevor Zegras if it wasn’t for a little extra. He also had Anaheim teammate John Gibson blindfold him before the shot attempt.

“Gibby folded it in half, so I couldn’t see at all, actually,” Zegras said. But wait, there’s more: His shooting motion literally stuck the puck to his stick blade, defying gravity as he turned and scored.

“I worked on it a bit this morning with the hockey influencers,” he said. Was there glue on the blade? “I don’t know,” Zegras said, with a smile. “May be.”


Jack Hughes, New Jersey Devils Hughes was thinking about “Vegas-y things” before the All-Star Game. “Obviously the magic was part of it. Then I thought about the black box,” he said. How it happened: Hughes missed his first rather pedestrian shootout attempt. Deciding he would take a second shot, he then had assistants pull out a large magician’s cabinet while he donned a top hat and black cape with a Devils logo on it. He loaded a mini-stick, two small gloves and a child-size Jack Hughes jersey into the empty box. A little whirlwind around the box and abracadabra, Brekken Scoppetto, son of Devils equipment manager Chris “Frosty” Scoppetto, dressed in this gear.

He helped Hughes score a goal. They both threw their sticks into the crowd in celebration, which is Hughes’ signature. “I think it went really well. It was all about Brek. I hope he had a good time,” Hughes said.


Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks

The Blackhawks winger brought in a few guest stars for his “The Hangover”-influenced shootout attempt: Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow as his “wolf pack,” and a Mike Tyson impersonator dragging a stuffed tiger along the ice. For his part, DeBrincat was dressed as Zach Galifianakis, with a doll strapped to his chest. He said the NHL pitched him the idea, including the Raiders’ involvement. Carr threw a pass to him and DeBrincat scored a goal with a football for the first time in his life.

“I was a little worried with the stickhandling. But it went into the net,” he said. Guest judge and famous St. Louis Blues fan Jon Hamm gave DeBrincat a “7,” which may have cost him the win. “Seven is a bit low,” said the Blackhawks player, the Blues’ sworn rival. He was, however, impressed with the Mike Tyson impersonator the League gave him.

“He looked pretty good,” DeBrincat said. ” The Tiger ? Not really.


Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights

Like Hughes, the hometown favorite attempted a pedestrian shot attempt to start. This drew the ire of Carrot Top, the famous Vegas prop comic, who demanded that he make another shot attempt. Pietrangelo invited the neon-lit Golden Knights drum kit, then turned on a light on his jersey. Through the batsman’s phalanx, Pietrangelo fired the puck…and missed the net. Nonetheless, he won the competition thanks in part to guest judge and scoring St. Louis Blues fan Jon Hamm, giving Pietrangelo – a former Blues captain – a score of “19”. “We have a pretty good history together. We know each other pretty well. We’ve shared a few cold stories over the years, you could say that,” he said. Crowd favorite Zegras took it in stride. “I have to work on a better move for next time,” he said.

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