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Monday Links, News & Notes: Alex Formenton Shows His McDavid-Like Speed

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Tracking data, a record-breaking slapshot and more!

NHL: All Star Game Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL took a break this weekend for the All-Star events in St. Louis. Anthony Duclair and Brady Tkachuk took second place with the Atlantic Division, representing the Sens well. Here’s your wrap-up of news & notes around the NHL, most of which centre around what took place at the All-Star festivities.

  • The most controversial part of the All-Star game didn’t happen on the ice — the infamous puck trail was brought back to the broadcast as an experiment, as well as name banners popping up on players, and the division began immediately. Does it make the puck easier to see and plays easier to follow? Or is it too distracting to be useful?
  • This type of tracking is really close to making its way onto the main broadcasts too, as the NHL announced that all stadiums will be equipped with the technology and ready to go by this season’s playoffs. The data aspect will also be interesting, as the All-Star broadcast included stats such as possession time. Whether any of this will be made available to the public is unknown, although I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
  • The AHL All-Star skills competition might have one-upped the NHL this year. They may not have had flying pucks from the middle of the stands, but a record was broken, as Martin Frk’s attempt in the hardest shot competition reached 109.2 miles per hour. For comparison, Zdeno Chara’s hardest recorded shot was 108.8 mph. Even more impressively, Frk is only 6’1”, compared to Chara’s 6’9”. The winger currently has 20 goals in 33 games for the Ontario Reign, affiliate to the LA Kings.
  • Finally, Alex Formenton showcased his McDavid-like speed at the skills competition after being a late addition to the group. He won the event with a lap of 13.356 second, the third fastest time in league history. It would’ve placed third in this year’s NHL event, and beat McDavid’s winning time in 2019. The AHL All-Star game takes place tonight in Ontario, California at 10:00 PM eastern.