The Washington Times - January 26, 2012, 04:10PM

Dennis Wideman was surprised to be an NHL All-Star – but he was thrilled. This weekend will be his first appearance in the midseason classic, but it also means his first appearance in the SuperSkills Competition on Saturday night.

Asked what event he’d compete in, Wideman had no idea.


“I’m hoping that we don’t all have to do skills and I’m one of the ones that don’t have to do that,” he said. “Hopefully I can just hold a camera and take some pictures.”

Fortunately, Wideman’s teammates had some ideas.

The six events are the fastest skater, breakaway challenge, accuracy shooting, skills challenge relay, hardest shot and elimination shootout. Some are self-explanatory. The breakaway challenge is the NHL’s version of the slam dunk competition (aka the event Alex Ovechkin owned); the skills challenge relay includes one-timers, passing, puck control, stick-handling and accuracy shooting.

“I’m thinking maybe the accuracy shooting because he’s pretty good at that. I think he could probably do some sort of passing one,” defenseman Karl Alzner said. “I remember last year the Sedins had to do saucer passes into little nets. He could do that.”

Told of Alzner’s accuracy shooting recommendation, John Carlson said: “I think that would be a good one.” Breakaways? “I don’t know. I think accuracy.”

Roman Hamrlik wouldn’t mind seeing Wideman on some shootouts. But there’s one event the Caps’ All-Star representative should stay away from.

Good hands, I think he should go and do some breakaways. The hardest shot, I wouldn’t go there because that’s ‘Big Z,’ big Chara out there. I don’t think he’s going to have a chance,” Hamrlik said. “I don’t think nobody’s going to beat him. But probably shootout or maybe shooting on the targets, something like that.”

But Hamrlik, a three-time NHL All-Star during his career, knows what’s most important.

Just enjoy, have a good time and he’s going to be there with one of the best players in the world. It’s always fun,” he said. “It’s get to know the players a little bit and just bring some friends or family with you and have good time.”