NHL All-Star Skills Competition

While the NHL All-Star game is the premier event during All-Star weekend, it’s hard not to keep an eye on the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. The Skills competition usually takes place the day before the All-Star game. For me it was a chance to get some warmups in before big game the following night.

NHL All-Star Red Carpet

When you think of February weather you think of cold, snowy weather. Not here in South Florida. It was hot. Like close to 90 degrees hot and the Red Carpet was on the beach in Fort Lauderdale.

I had to head over to the NHL All-Star Skills Competition after the Red Carpet so I was dressed warmly. Like slacks and a light sweater. I thought I would dress so it would be easy when I had to run into the arena to take arrival pics. I nearly had head exhaustion from my clothes.

The Red Carpet was lined with fans waiting hours in the hot Florida sun just for a chance to catch a glimpse of their favorite players. Jerseys were placed on the railings with care in hopes that St. Nicklaus would soon be there. Oh wait, wrong story.

The mascots arrived first and they paraded down the Red Carpet like it was a fashion show. It was pretty fun to watch. Anytime there are mascots it’s fun to watch. I’ve wanted to see Gritty, the Flyers mascot, for the longest. I follow him on social media and I wanted to see if he was as advertised. And he truly was.

After the mascots sashayed down the Red Carpet, the players started to arrive. I was stationed across from the fans hoping to get some nice interactions but most of my shots were of the players backs. It probably wasn’t the best of choices.

The other issue preventing me from getting the shots were the sheer number of team PR people, videographers, social media and so on and so on. They were all over their players getting content and I was trying to just get a clean look.

After all the autographs and staged photos I had to race across the county to get to the NHL All-Star Skills Competition. Fighting the Friday afternoon traffic wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I was still delayed in getting to the arena to get arrival photos.

Skills Competition

The NHL All-Star Skills Competition was, interesting to say the least. In my head I had all the events going one by one until it was completed. And in the words of Charlie Murphy during a Dave Chapelle skit, “Wrong.”

It jumped from event to event. Like first round of speed skate then it cuts to a video of an event on the beach and then back to the ice for the goalie competition.

I was shooting from above the ice and trying to keep up as to what event it was proved to be hectic. All I kept thinking about was how much of a headache editing would be with events not going in order from start to finish.

It was cool seeing the best in the NHL compete and then chat it up on the ice and on the bench. I think I took more photos of them interacting than anything else.

I really didn’t have a favorite event to be honest. I think I spent so much time making sure I captured everything that I didn’t get a chance to really enjoy what was happening on the ice.

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