If we’re being honest with ourselves, Connor McDavid set the real fastest skater record tonight

Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY SPORTS

The NHL’s All-Star Skills Competition is underway right now, and as we all know, Connor McDavid is incredibly, very, extremely fast. For many of us, watching him participate in the Fastest Skater competition was one of the only things that mattered tonight, especially after they replaced the trick shot competition with a bunch of players missing stupid shots they’d never take.

Connor rocked it. He was better than everyone. But not the greatest! Though, hold on a second.

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Mike Gartner, 1996

For twenty years, Toronto Maple Leafs forward (and NHL 100 inductee) Mike Gartner had the all-time record, clocking in at 13.36 seconds. He started from a standstill at centre ice and had his time end when he crossed centre ice once again.

Dylan Larkin, 2016

Larkin broke the record last year. Crushed it even; his final time was 13.172, even with a near stumble. He was absolutely unbelievable, and we were all very impressed.

However, Larkin had something that went in his favour. He got to start accelerating from the far blue line, giving him a solid 30 feet to build up his stride. Red Wings fans with stopwatches last year argued that he would’ve still won by a hair if you started when he pushes off and ended it at the other blue line, but that still would’ve meant that he have been able to use his peak energy on a longer straightaway while his final stretch would’ve been devoted to less-intensive turns.

Connor McDavid, 2017


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We’ll keep it simple. McDavid started at centre. Not just that, he didn’t get much of a break from the preliminary knockout stage of the challenge before being sent out to be the lone wolf attempting to set the record. Despite this, he had a time faster than Gartner’s under the same parameters that Gartner and, well, every other attempt at this competition other than last year has ever had.




Connor McDavid, under the rules that have existed for the fastest skater competition for almost every year it’s ever existed, broke the longstanding record, despite having done a semi-lap almost immediately prior. Dylan Larkin’s record, as long as it exists, should have a massive asterisk attached to it. McDavid’s effort tonight was the most all-around impressive attempt at the challenge in its history. I have no doubt in my mind that McDavid ends up with the better time under Larkin’s parameters, or that Larkin trails McDavid and likely Gartner as well in the traditional ones. He’s fast, but his advantage last year was an unfair one.

In other, more familiar words, Connor’s better.

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  • toprightcorner

    If Larkin started at the red line and had his stumble, He would have been lucky to break 13.8 seconds. His gap from last blue line to cross finish line is well over half a second.

  • Explicit

    I see no problem with this at all. Larkin got a head start because he needed it and the NHL needs to get people interested. It’s an all star event guys, who really cares? The kids had fun and we can get back to playing hockey again soon!

  • Pouzar99

    Nothing to get upset about. Obviously Connor is the fastest NHL skater ever and holds the real record as we all know. Larkin is damned fast and it is not his fault that the clowns running the competition last year allowed the players the ridiculous advantage of a huge head start to build up speed. Hopefully they will go head-to-head next year and settle this, nit that is matters.

    • The Soup Fascist

      Ha ha. It will be like the old Seinfeld episode where Jerry got a headstart and won the big race in high school, but no one noticed.

      Larkin: “I choose NOT to run … er …. skate”

      BTW. Good ‘ol Elliotte Friedman called BS on the running start thing and said McD crushes him if they use the same start parameters.

      Not that any of this matters …..

  • Dirtski

    Not sure if outside links are allowed (if not this video should be in the article itself) but this is Mcdavid’s interview after the all star comp. He rips into the whole Larkin getting a head start thing:

  • Mitch92

    Whether Larkin holds the fastest skating record over Connor is immaterial when you consider the fact that NOT ONE OILER owner, President, GM, Coach, Manager of player personnel, trainer, stick boy, ticket seller, beer and hotdog vendor or fan would ever consider swapping the two players. CMD is the sole possessor of the title of Most Coveted Hockey Player in the WORLD!

    • Shameless Plugger

      Comments like this leave me scratching my head…you’d rather not have the hits on the site?

      What else are we supposed to discuss on a hockey blogging website?

      The Nadal Federer match or maybe team Alberta winning the women’s junior curling title..?

  • OTOF2

    There is another interesting difference between Larkin and McDavids time trials and I am surprized that no one is bringing this up. Larkin skated in a clockwise direction and McDavid skated counter clockwise. Keep in mind that both players are right handed and shoot left. Anyone who has ever skated will know that your ability to do cross over turns is naturally stronger with your dominant side on the outside of the turn. So does Connor skating counter clockwise not give him an advantage over Larkin skating clockwise?

      • VvV

        McDavid shoots left but he is actually right handed so he was crossing on his less dominate side. (the way players shoot does not actually dictate their dominate side, it’s just the way the first started playing, hence why it’s 50/50 left and right shooters in nhl, and not dominated by right handed like regular society.

        • OTOF2

          That was the point, Both players are right handed and shoot left. Mcdavid was crossing over turning left (into his less dominate side) which is easier and more natural. Anyone who has ever skated can tell you this. Both McDavid and Larkin are right handed (and both shoot left), McDavid went with his natural strength (counter clockwise) Larkin skated against it (clockwise direction).

        • WSO

          How much hockey have you played? Its far more than a 50/50 split on right vs left. Most Nhl’ers are Left handed. Ever wonder why hockey stores have 3 times the selection of Left handed sticks? MOST people shoot the opposite hand they write with, and 100% your ‘dominant’ side is the side you shoot with. Youre basically completely incorrect in your post

          • It’s not about what hand they shoot with, because two hands are on the stick, it’s about what hand goes on the top of the stick. Right hand at the top means a player is shooting left, not that they are shooting with their left hand or that the left side is dominant.

            Around 65% of the NHL shoots left but about 90% of the population is right handed.

            Interestingly, although more Canadians shoot left than right, most Americans shoot right.

  • 3 Little Birds

    Totally not related, my bad.

    This Allstars Game is the sh!tiest hockey I have ever seen.

    Nobody cares. is skating or putting any effort in. Wow.

    This is on me for watching.

    My bad.

  • GD85

    One factor that everyone seems to be overlooking is the preliminary head to head portion of the competition. Larkin finished his half rink race in a record breaking 12.89 seconds to McDavid’s 13.02. If we consider the full rink lap to be invalid due to Larkin’s “head start” (and pretending that he didn’t stumble, catch himself, and regain his speed), the prelim is the only set of numbers we have in which to base any claim. I can only conclude that Larkin is, albeit slightly, faster based on those numbers.