Vancouver Canucks, Bo Horvat

Canucks Pettersson Wins; Hanging With Bo

Canucks sniper Elias Pettersson won the NHL All-Star Skills Competition hardest shot contest with a slapper of 103.2 miles-per-hour on Friday, becoming just the second forward to win the competition in the last 22 years. Washington Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin did it previously.

Ovie actually competed in this year’s edition, but hit the post with his first attempt and fell short with a shot of 95.1 mph with his second.

‘Petey’ also beat out D-men Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks, Josh Morrissey of the Winnipeg Jets, and Rasmus Dahlin of the Buffalo Sabres.

Hanging with ex-Canucks Buddy

Friday was just the start of what will be a bit of weird week for Pettersson, his Canucks teammates, his former captain Bo Horvat, and for Canucks fans especially, who will see Horvat in his New York Islanders jersey time and time again, including when the Canucks play on Long Island come Thursday.

The trade that sent Horvat to the Islanders for Anthony Beauvillier, prospect Aatu Raty, and an NHL 1st-round draft pick, went down on January 30th. Three days later Horvat was saying hello and hugging his ex-teammate Pettersson at the NHL All-Star media day on Thursday. That’s also when Horvat said that Petey should be the next Canucks captain.

Friday, during skills, they hung out and chatted and watched some of the competition together.

Saturday they’ll play together for the Pacific Division team.

As Horvat pointed out on Thursday:

“I’m an Islander now and I think that’s the jersey I’ll be wearing tomorrow (skills),” Horvat said, “and then obviously the All-Star jersey when we play, so … I’m still playing with the Pacific team because I think they’d be a man short if I didn’t, so it’ll be interesting, it’ll probably be a first.”

Undoubtedly Horvat and Pettersson will skate together during the elongated 3-on-3 mini-round-robin format that is the NHL All-Star Game.

The Pacific plays the Central Division at noon pacific, the winner of which will takes on the victor of the Metro vs. Atlantic contest.

It’ll be once last glance at happy happy. Thursday will bring Horvat trying to help his Isles club make the playoffs by beating his former team, while the Canucks will be playing for pride.

And to beat their former captain.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.