NHL All-Star booed for lack of effort during skills competition: 'Not a good look'


It looked like Nikita Kucherov wanted to be anywhere but the NHL All-Star skills competition Friday night.

The Tampa Bay Lightning forward was one of 12 All-Stars to participate in the events, but it was clear the other 11 cared a bit more than Kucherov.

Kucherov was the first selection of the game, which was played Saturday afternoon.

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Nikita Kucherov at All Star weekend

Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning competes in the Scotiabank NHL Passing Challenge during the 2024 NHL All-Star skills competition at Scotiabank Arena Feb. 2, 2024, in Toronto. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Kucherov seemed to be going through the motions during the minute-long passing contest, when he scored five out of a possible 33 points.

And even though the event is intended to promote the league’s stars, the announcers on ESPN weren’t afraid to bash Kucherov.

“I’m not sensing a lot of intensity here, Mess,” announcer John Buccigross told hockey Hall of Famer Mark Messier.

“Not quite enough intensity here whatsoever,” Messier replied.

Nikita Kucherov ON ICE

Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning warms up prior to the 2024 NHL All-Star skills competition at Scotiabank Arena Feb. 2, 2024, in Toronto.  (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

“This is not a good look, quite frankly,” Buccigross added as the crowd began to show its frustrations. “The fans are booing him, and this is what happens when you don’t try your best and you’re in a hockey city like Toronto. They’re gonna let you know.”

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Kucherov also finished last in the stick handling contest with a time of 44.178 seconds. Everyone else finished in under 40.

Kucherov didn’t sound too apologetic for his performance. 

Nikita Kucherov SKATES

Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov skates with the puck during the 2024 NHL All-Star skills competition at Scotiabank Arena Feb. 2, 2024, in Toronto. (Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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“You sit there for like three hours, and then you get to go stick handle,” Kucherov said, according to The Associated Press. “That was kind of tough.”

Maybe he was looking forward to hitting up Fillmores, a gentleman’s club offering All-Stars free lap dances this weekend.

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