SAN JOSE, Calif. — Nathan MacKinnon will not be competing in the NHL All-Stars skills competition Friday due to an undisclosed injury. Replacing MacKinnon in the fastest-skater event: U.S. women’s national team player Kendall Coyne.
Coyne, 26, was originally slated to attend the event and demonstrate the skills, along with other female players. But when MacKinnon, a Colorado Avalanche center, told the NHL he could not participate, organizers decided to call upon one of the speediest players on the U.S. women’s squad.
Coyne put up a time of 14.226 seconds in Thursday’s testing, according to the NHL’s Department of Hockey Operations. She did that with no warm-up, fresh off a five-hour flight. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid won last year’s event with a 13.454 time. Coyne’s testing time would have placed her sixth in last year’s eight-player field.
Coyne will compete against Cam Atkinson, Mat Barzal, Jack Eichel, Miro Heiskanen, Clayton Keller, McDavid and Elias Pettersson.
MacKinnon’s status for Saturday night’s All-Star Game is still unclear. However, he is in San Jose participating in the festivities, meaning he will avoid the mandatory one-game suspension for skipping the skills event.
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