McDavid and Bieber were just two the participants in the 2017 NHL All-Star Celebrity Shootout that featured many of the biggest names from the hockey world and entertainment industry. The two Ontario-born products helped Team Gretzky, of course, coached by Wayne Gretzky, defeated Team Lemieux, coached by Mario Lemieux, 5-3 at the Staples Center on Saturday.
Academy Award-winning actor and massive hockey fan Cuba Gooding Jr. has been playing pick-up hockey in Los Angeles for more than 20 years and also played on Team Gretzky with McDavid. Gooding Jr., who regularly plays against other players with a limited hockey background, said how special it was to play with a superstar like McDavid.
“It was an honour to be on the ice [with McDavid],” Gooding Jr. told Oilers TV. “He’s the next generation. He has such poise. I know there’s a lot of players we say that about, but he really seems to have angel quality about him.
“There just something about his focus. I mean, the fact that he at the last minute said I want to skate in this game. I mean, that’s cool. That’s really cool.”
Already a great ambassador for the game at age 20, McDavid then quickly changed into his Oilers gear to got ready for the 2017 NHL SuperSkills Competition. McDavid won the Fastest Skater event with a time of 13.02 seconds and placed third in the Accuracy Shooting event, hitting four targets on six shots with a time of 15.64 seconds.
After blowing away Colorado Avalanche centre Nathan MacKinnon head-to-head in his first heat with the best time of the night, McDavid tried to make history by beating Detroit Red Wings centre Dylan Larkin‘s all-time mark of 13.172 set at last year’s All-Star Game in Nashville. McDavid fell just short of eclipsing Larkin’s record, however, the ‘skating start’ came with some controversy.
Larkin was able to gain momentum with a skating start in 2016, while McDavid started from a dead stop a few feet back of the red line. McDavid told the media after the event that he had asked for a skating start as well, but that request was turned down by officials.
“I was definitely aware [that Larkin had a skating start],” McDavid said in an interview with Oilers TV. “That’s why I wanted to try and see if I could get that, but no dice I guess.”
McDavid, who is only in his second NHL season, will have many more chances to break the record in his career. And while he doesn’t hold the crown in Fastest Skater event yet, there’s little doubt in hockey circles that McDavid is the fastest thing on ice.