On Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night, NHL Insider Jeff Marek talked about potential non-traditional events in the All-Star Skills Competition being hosted by the Florida Panthers next month.
Although the fastest skater and hardest shot portions of the Skills Competition will be held in Sunrise at FLA Live Arena, the league added some outdoor stuff last year in Las Vegas and looks to continue that here in South Florida.
Marek even mentioned our idea — which, apparently made it up the chain from the Panthers to the NHL offices — of having players shoot frozen hamburger ‘pucks’ at alligator targets in the Everglades.
I am not kidding, folks. Check out the video below.
That one, as we noted somewhat jokingly the other day, probably is not going to happen.
Unless the alligators are in captivity — such as the ones the Gator Boys rescue and take care of at Holiday Park — it is illegal to feed wild ones much less shoot the food at them.
Maybe the captive alligators make it into the show.
UPDATE: Was told some folks with Broward County and the NHL actually toured Holiday Park and took out some airboats to see how they could be used in some fashion.
One of the things Marek mentioned was having a couple of dunk tanks on (presumably) Fort Lauderdale Beach with players shooting at targets on them.
Who would be dunked — players in the competition, perhaps — is up for debate and being negotiated with the NHLPA.
Another competition being discussed per Marek has to do with golf although no real details were given.
Since this thing is at night, you might want it taped at night (no, those fun things they did in Vegas last year were not live) which means a lit driving range or perhaps the TopGolf in Miami near Hard Rock Stadium.
Of course, you could always light up a golf course with portable lighting. The NHL does know the Bushwood Country Club from Caddyshack fame is in Davie, right?
There’s always Aqua Golf in Pembroke Park where a couple scenes from There’s Something About Mary was shot back in the day.
We still like the alligator idea. Work it out.
FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW
Eric Staal did not have a single point going into December but, since then, he has been scoring at a nice clip for the Panthers.
In his past 17 games, Staal now has 13 points. Not bad.
— The Panthers are in Dallas this afternoon and we’ll have the GameDay report up later this morning.
— We have plenty of postgame video up from Detroit featuring Aaron Ekblad following his two-goal game, Sergei Bobrovsky (29 saves) and coach Paul Maurice.
There is also pregame from Matthew Tkachuk talking about his All-Star selection from Friday morning.
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NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW
This trip to the All-Star Game is going to be extra special for Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes — and not just because it is his first selection to the event.
Hayes’ brother Jimmy, who died last year, always told Kevin ‘this is the year’ that he would make it to the All-Star Game. ‘This year’ is here.
It’s a cool situation for me because — not to get emotional — but it’s probably the only thing my brother said to me when I started playing hockey and that he wanted me to accomplish,” Kevin Hayes said on Thursday.
Jimmy Hayes spent parts of two seasons with the Panthers and it would be cool if Kevin makes his way to the Florida locker room with Team Metro. Kevin said Jimmy’s son Beau will be accompanying him on his trip to South Florida.
— If the Pittsburgh Penguins were to be sellers, what would they be looking for on the NHL Trade market?
— Nicklas Backstrom is closing in on a return with the Washington Capitals and says he and Tom Wilson rehabbing together really got them closer.
— The power play did the Detroit Red Wings in again on Saturday night as they lost in Toronto.
— Are the Colorado Avalanche still interested in Bo Horvat?
PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT DALLAS STARS
- When: Sunday, 3:30 p.m.
- Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida; ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last season: Split 1-1
- This season (Stars lead 1-0): Dallas 6, Florida 4 (Nov. 17)
- All-time regular season series: Florida leads 24-20-2, 3 tie
- Up Next for the Panthers: Tuesday at Colorado, 9:30 p.m.