Hockey Night in Canada

#PayDecker: Women's hockey star to get paid after NHL skills comp success

U.S. women's hockey star Brianna Decker showed everyone how it's done in the passing challenge at Friday night's NHL all-star skills competition in San Jose. On Saturday, a hockey apparel company stepped in to compensate her following a social media campaign.

Social media campaign draws attention to Brianna Decker's passing event prowess

Brianna Decker, shown in this 2017 file photo, put on a show at the NHL All-Star Skills event in San Jose, Calif., on Friday night. The next day, a social media campaign to get her compensated appeared to pay off. (File/Getty Images)

U.S. women's hockey star Brianna Decker showed everyone how it's done in the passing challenge at Friday night's NHL all-star skills competition in San Jose.

Since she was "demonstrating" the Premier Passer event, her time — unofficially clocked at three seconds faster than the best men's time — did not count, but a hockey apparel company stepped in following a social media campaign to recognize the American.

Decker's time of one minute and six seconds was clocked by fans on social media, as it was not timed by the NHL.

Later, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported that the NHL went back to check Decker's time and found that it was "around 1:12-13." The Edmonton Oilers' Leon Draisaitl was the official winner, clocking in at 1:09.

WATCH | Leon Draisaitl competes in the passing challenge:

The Oilers forward won the NHL's Premier Passing event with a time of 1:09.088. 1:28

The winner of this event was to be awarded $25,000 US — which CCM Hockey pledged to give her on Saturday. During the All-Star Game, the NHL commemorated the efforts of Decker, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Rebecca Johnston and Renata Fast, pledging to donate $25,000 to each of the charities of their choice.

Adidas also announced "new multi-year partnerships" with the four players. "With the new partnerships, each athlete will play prominent roles in brand initiatives and be featured marketing campaigns," the apparel company said in a press release.

How it started

Initially, the fact that it was given to Draisaitl was not sitting well with some hockey fans who pointed out Decker may be better able to use the cash when juxtaposed with the Oilers star's $9-million-per-year contract.

That spawned the hashtag #PayDecker:

Canadian hockey star Jayna Hefford also endorsed the sentiment:


Draisaitl also told The Hockey News he was unaware Decker had a better time — and was thoroughly impressed:

Decker's performance was just one example from the night in San Jose of how impressive women's hockey players are.

Earlier, Decker's teammate Coyne Schofield became the first woman ever to compete in the NHL All-Star skills competition on Friday night. Filling in for Avalanche star Nathan Mackinnon, she raced around the rink in a time competitive with the top skaters in the men's game in another barrier-breaking moment for women's hockey.

WATCH | Kendall Coyne Schofield steals the show in the fastest skater comp:

The American made history on Friday by becoming the 1st female to compete in the NHL's Skills Competition when she raced around the ice in the Faster Skater competition. 1:11

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