One shot into his event at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition, Calgary Flames sniper Johnny Gaudreau knew he wasn’t taking home the accuracy competition in Vegas.
“Oh, fudge, I’m in one now,” Gaudreau said after whipping a pass from Nick Suzuki just over the lower left target.
Mic’d up by Sportsnet, Gaudreau showed the fun-loving personality that makes him a hugely popular teammate but is typically reserved for the ice and the locker-room.
“That’s not it,” he declared once he smashed his fourth target on seven attempts in 17.811 seconds. He jokingly blamed his passers
“Yeah, I knew I was in one when I missed the first shot. Oh well,” he said as he skated away afterword. “I’m going to blame the passers, obviously. It was terrible. That’s why I didn’t win.”
His boyish charm on full display, Gaudreau still seems so much younger than his 28 years. Yet this is his sixth all-star appearance after Matthew Tkachuk represented the Flames in his hometown of St. Louis in 2020. From 2015 to 2019, Gaudreau appeared in five consecutive all-star games.
A lot of memories. Not just for Johnny, but for his family – which comes out in full force for the all-star appearances.
Gaudreau uncles talk favourite all-star memories
“My favourite part of what he’s done so far is winning the stickhandling competition two years in a row,” an excited uncle Ed Gaudreau said in a video posted by the Calgary Flames on Friday. “And beating Patrick Kane in doing it.”
Gaudreau was also part of the tournament-winning Pacific Division team in the first NHL three-on-three format in 2016.
Winning with Pacific Division in first three on three format was also memorable.
For his uncle Jim Gaudreau, the memory of former Flyers forward Jakob Voracek pausing his breakaway attempt in the skills competition to use Gaudreau as his puppet still makes him chuckle.
“I think that was one of the most hysterical moments I’ve ever seen,” Jim told the Flames social media crew.
Watching his brother, Guy – Gaudreau’s dad – on the bench as a coach in San Jose was another fond memory for Jim. But he and Ed agree the most incredible part of all of these all-star appearances is how little Johnny Gaudreau has changed in spite of his success.
“Couldn’t be more proud of John, and jane and Guy, how they raised John,” said Ed. “Just a really good kid … guy.”