February 03, 2023
The NHL All-Star Game is this weekend and Kevin Hayes is down in Sunrise, Florida as the Flyers' lone representative.
On the ice, it's been a bit of an up-and-down year for Hayes. He's been benched, scratched, moved up and down the lineup, and shifted out from center to the wing. Still, his 45 points through 50 games are second on the team and have him well on to a career-best pace, while his 30 assists lead a Flyers club that has been OK of late but is still in the early stages of establishing a new direction for the franchise (provided they actually figure a clear one out).
In the middle of his ninth season, this is the 30-year old's first-ever All-Star nod, and the honor carries a lot of weight.
In the years between his retirement in 2019 and sudden passing in August 2021, Kevin's older brother, Jimmy, would talk to him about making the All-Star Game, joking before each season with Kevin that "this is the year it's gonna happen."
It finally did, and to celebrate the milestone, Hayes' nephew Beau made the trip to Florida with him.
"I think he was just saying it to be a good guy," Hayes said of his brother during the All-Star Media Day on Thursday. "But it's cool that it is happening, and it's cool that I get to experience it with his son."
Hayes is set to participate in the All-Star Skills competition's accuracy shooting on Friday night, then will skate for the Metropolitan Division in the 3-on-3 mini tournament on Saturday afternoon.
Here's a quick rundown of the schedule:
• Friday: NHL All-Star Skills, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN, ESPN+)
• Saturday: NHL All-Star Game, 3 p.m. ET (ABC, ESPN+)
|Game 1||3:00 p.m. ET||Central||Pacific|
|Game 2||4:00 p.m. ET||Metro||Atlantic|
|Final||5:00 p.m. ET||TBD||TBD|
*Each game consists of two 10-minute periods
A look at the field and rules for accuracy shooting:
BULLSEYE 🎯— NHL (@NHL) February 2, 2023
Tune in to the @Honda NHL Accuracy Shooting TOMORROW during the 2023 #NHLAllStar Skills competition at 7p ET on @espn, @Sportsnet, and @TVASports! pic.twitter.com/6yWDM6S9cT
• F Andrei Svechnikov, Carolina
• F Johnny Gaudreau, Columbus
• F Jack Hughes, New Jersey
• F Brock Nelson, NY Islanders
• F Artemi Panarin, NY Rangers
• F Kevin Hayes, Flyers
• F Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh
• F Alexander Ovechkin, Washington
• D Adam Fox, NY Rangers
• G Igor Shesterkin, NY Rangers
• G Ilya Sorokin, NY Islanders
And the jerseys, which were lumped into this year's Reverse Retro program using the Miami Vice color scheme and the NHL's All-Star template from the mid-90s:
History Never Repeats— adidas Hockey (@adidashockey) January 20, 2023
The all-new 2023 #NHLAllStar ⭐️ jerseys are here 🔥
Available tonight @ 12am ET exclusively on https://t.co/P8xwTgZR4z and https://t.co/EG1Js8V6l6.#adidasHockey #ReverseRetro pic.twitter.com/3AJ6dL4y8I
Finally, let's cap this off with a bit of history.
The Flyers that go to the All-Star game have a tendency to shine at the event.
Claude Giroux won All-Star MVP last year in Vegas in what was increasingly building into his farewell tour in Philadelphia, Wayne Simmonds stole the show in LA in 2017 with some other guy coaching behind the bench, and Jake Voracek matched Mario Lemieux for an All-Star record six points in 2015.
And as far as Flyers in the accuracy shooting contest go, here's Jeremy Roenick setting the standard in 2004 (in glorious 240p):
Don't you miss Gary Thorne calling hockey?
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