2020 NHL All-Star Skills Competition
Friday, Jan. 24, 2020 beginning at 8 p.m. ET at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri, (NBCSN, CBC, Sportsnet and TVAS)
For the first time, the NHL All-Star Weekend will feature a women’s game. The two teams will feature nine skaters and one goalie made up of U.S. and Canadian players who are members of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association — a group who is boycotting playing this season as they fight for a sustainable professional league.
The recently announced rosters for the U.S. and Canadian women’s national teams will go head-to-head in a three-on-three game as part of the 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend. The women will play in a 20-minute game broken up by two 10-minute periods with running time on Jan. 24, as part of the Skills Competition. Should the game end in a tie, there will be a three-minute overtime with running time. If overtime isn’t enough, the team whose player recorded the higher score in the Trick Shot Challenge (a.k.a. Shooting Stars Event) will determine the winner. Referees Kelly Cooke and Katie Guay and lineswomen Kendall Hanley and Kirsten Welsh will officiate the game.
This will be the third straight All-Star Weekend where women’s players will participate. Members of the U.S. Olympic team demonstrated the Skills Competition events in Tampa, Florida in 2018. Last year in San Jose, four women did the same. And when Nathan MacKinnon (Colorado Avalanche) pulled out of the Fastest Skater Competition last minute, Kendall Coyne Schofield jumped in and posted a time of 14.346, placing seventh in the event.
Team USA will be coached by Hall of Fame player Cammi Granato and include the following women:
- F Kendall Coyne Schofield
- F Brianna Decker
- F Amanda Kessel
- F Hilary Knight
- F Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson
- F Annie Pankowski
- F Alex Carpenter
- D Kacey Bellamy
- D Lee Stecklein
- G Alex Rigsby Cavallini
The Canadian team will be coached by Hall of Fame player Jayna Hefford, and include the following women:
- F Meghan Agosta
- F Melodie Daoust
- F Rebecca Johnston
- F Sarah Nurse
- F Marie-Philip Poulin
- F Natalie Spooner
- F Blayre Turnbull
- D Renata Fast
- D Laura Fortino
- G Ann-Renee Desbiens
The two total rosters, which were selected by a committee of Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Granato, Angela Ruggiero and Hayley Wickenheiser, combine for 39 Olympics and 109 World Championship medals.
“I think it’s really going to showcase the talent that we have, obviously 3-on-3, a lot of open ice,” Canada forward Rebecca Johnston said. “There’s a lot of speed in our game and puck skill. So I think it will really showcase our speed, our talent on the ice, be able to make plays. I think it’s really going to open up the ice. I think it will be really good for us, a lot of fun.”
“The intention here is to give these elite players the forum they’ve earned and they deserve,” said NHL executive vice president and chief content officer Steve Mayer. “It’s thrilling for us to be able to give them this moment. This is a meaningful event — it’s on national television, not only are they going to be performing and playing in front of 20,000 people in the arena, but they are also playing in front of 40 of the greatest players in the NHL. We’re so confident that they will put on a great display.”
Susan Cohig, the NHL’s executive vice president for club business affairs, adds “that the hope is that this game will help inspire the next generation of girls to play hockey.”
The NHL says they will donate $100,000 to girls hockey organizations on behalf of the American and Canadian teams, but does not say anything about paying the women themselves for their time and efforts.