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.
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
For real though, these rules are dumb. 13.31. Connor McDavid broke the real record, that’s all that matters. pic.twitter.com/EUYFxncwj8
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.