The first woman competed in the NHL All-Star skills competition, and Coyne Schofield's breakthrough appearance left me amazed. Her short strides crossed over with a ferocity not normally seen from NHLers at All-Star Weekend. As captain of the Central Division he suggested Schofield take his place in the fastest skater competition. She's one of the best in the world at what she does.
"I was so excited for her", he said, "for how she performed on such a big stage".
Coyne put up a time of 14.346 seconds as the opening skater Friday night. Although Decker's time wasn't officially recorded by the NHL, Draisaitl's 69.088 seconds was three seconds slower than the 66 seconds a fan clocked Decker at during her demo. "I thought it was incredible and inspiring". Of course, a skills event does not equate to the physicality of an actual game, but Coyne shredded the conventional perception that women simply lack the size and strength to play alongside men. "This was another huge step forward". "I'm fortunate for the opportunity and I think it went pretty well".
Fresh off a lengthy flight - with no warmup - Coyne posted a 14.226 in Thursday's practice run, according to ESPN's Emily Kaplan. She can flat out fly.
On Saturday, it was also announced that both Decker and Coyne (along with Canadian Women's National Team stars Renata Fast and Rebecca Johnston) had been signed by adidas. Coyne Schofield, a Chicago native, met her husband - Los Angeles Chargers offensive lineman Michael Schofield - training at a local gym. The 27-year-old won the Patty Kazmaier Award in 2012 while at Wisconsin, an award given to the nation's top collegiate player. "Part of this event is to grow hockey, and the step she took tonight to help hockey is going to go miles down the road".
"I think today the National Hockey League took that stance, they made that statement", Coyne Schofield said. "Fortunately my specific realm is hockey and trying to increase the visibility and accessibility of the sport, and two, anything that inspires people, or motivates people, or sparks change is something I'm definitely interested in".