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Style in the Shootout: The Top 5 Moments from the Breakaway Challenge Through the Years

Courtesy of Rick Scuteri/AP Photo

The All-Star Skills Competition is filled with action packed challenges, such as the Fastest Skater and the Hardest Shot, as well as challenges that are relative to the city where the All-Star Weekend is hosted. However, the most unforgettable challenge has to be the Breakaway Challenge. In hockey, a breakaway is when a player has no defensive players between him or her and the goal, except the goaltender. In the Breakaway Challenge, players get to be creative with their plays; using costumes, props, and even celebrity guests to put on a show while showcasing their athleticism. A panel of judges will vote on who had the best breakaway attempt to determine the winner. Over the years, there have been some incredible breakaways, but there are a few that fans will never forget, in no particular order. 

Courtesy of Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The first memorable breakaway would have to be from Patrick Kane in the Breakaway Challenge from the 2012 All-Star Skills Competition. In his breakaway, Kane decided to add some superhero magic. Kane’s then teammate, Marien Hossa, came out and met him at the blue line, where he gave him a Superman cape and some Clark Kent glasses. After putting on his Superman attire, Kane took off from the blue line and raced toward the net. In front of the net, he dove onto the ice, where he slid Superman-style past the net, passing the puck from his hand to his stick to slide the puck past the goaltender. 

Courtesy of “Adventures in Pucking”-

The next breakaway was from Corey Perry, also during the Breakaway Challenge at the 2012 All-Star Skills Competition. In his breakaway, Perry skated onto the ice dressed in his regular gameday attire with no props. He skated past the blue line and started skating the puck towards the net when suddenly, he stopped. Perry flung both of his gloves off in each direction, threw his stick to the side, and then proceeded to pull a mini stick out of his hockey pants. Perry bent over and finished skating the puck towards the goal, where he guided it past the goaltender with a clean backhand shot.

Courtesy of Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One of the more recent and certainly more creative breakaways comes from Jack Hughes, during the Breakaway Challenge at the 2022 All-Star Skills Competition. In his breakaway, Hughes skated onto the ice with no props or costume. He skated straight towards the net and shot the puck. However, the goaltender saved the puck. Once he skated back to the blue line and asked what he would do, Hughes responded “That didn’t seem fair…This is Vegas right? Could we get some magic in the mix?” At that moment, Hughes’ former US National Development teammate, Trevor Zegras, skated onto the ice and helped him tie on a magician’s cape and gave him a magician’s top hat. At the same time, a crew skated out onto the ice with a large box. Hughes opened the box to show that it was empty, and then he threw in a child’s version of his jersey, a small hockey stick, and some small gloves. Then he closed the box and skated around it several times. When he opened the box again, out came a “mini” Jack Hughes. Both of them skated from the blue line to the net, where “mini” Jack Hughes scored the goal.

Courtesy of The Denver Post

The next breakaway comes from Alex Ovechkin fifteen years ago during the Breakaway Challenge at the 2009 All-Star Skills Competition. In his breakaway, like with most, Ovechkin had no props or costume. He skated towards the net, acting like he was going to score, when he suddenly turned around right before the net. Ovechkin skated back to the bench. His Russian Olympic teammate, Evgeni Malkin, gave him a fishing hat with a Canadian flag sticking out of it, some sunglasses, another stick, and a swig of Gatorade. Using both the sticks to pass the puck back and forth to himself, he skated to the net, where he scored a goal in which he called “Team Canada.” However, one of the neatest things about this breakaway is that Ovechkin scored the goal left-handed even though he is right-handed. 

Courtesy of For the Win/USA Today Sports

Last, but not least, comes another breakaway from the Breakaway Challenge during the 2022 All-Star Skills Competition from Trevor Zegras. Zegras skated onto the ice dressed as Peter La Fleur from the movie “Dodgeball.” Zegras’ teammate, John Gibson, skated out onto the ice with him and blindfolded him. While Zegras was being blindfolded, all the NHL team mascots came out onto the ice with dodgeballs. Once blindfolded, Zegras sped towards the net with the puck, while having dodgeballs thrown at him by the mascots. Right in front of the net, he spun around and scored the goal into the net facing backwards with one hand. This goal has been dubbed by many as the “most creative” and the “most impressive” goal in the history of The Breakaway Challenge. 

The Breakaway Challenge is one of the most exciting events of the All-Star Skills competition. It is always amazing to see some of the NHL’s most well-known players mix creativity with their incredible athleticism. These breakaway challenges were certainly memorable to watch and will always be a cherished part of NHL history. 

Edited by Giana Robertaccio

Social Media Content created by Caroline McGuinness

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