Wisconsin women’s hockey legend Brianna Decker beat the world at Friday’s NHL All-Star Skills competition, but the NHL ended up giving the first-place reward to the second-place finisher.
For All-Star Weekend, the NHL invited women’s hockey stars Decker, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Rebecca Johnston, and Renata Fast to introduce the skills competition. When Decker was called on to demonstrate the passing competition, she completed it in only 1:06.
BRIANNA DECKER IS A GODDESS— Abby @ all star (@ArrowsandDemons) January 26, 2019
Here’s her absolutely KILLING it!!! #NHLAllStar pic.twitter.com/e4Z8povq85
After Decker casually completed the skill competition with the exact same constraints as the men, the NHLers got their turn, and the best they could do was Leon Draisaitl’s 1:09.
Brianna Decker:— Matt Larkin (@THNMattLarkin) January 26, 2019
“Karlsson went after me, so I was like, ‘OK, I think I might have beaten him,’ but I didn’t know how long it took me. I was just casually going through the demo."
“She beat me? Wow. That’s really impressive. Good for her.”#PayDecker
Since Decker’s time was “unofficial,” the $25,000 prize was awarded to Draisaitl. This is especially notable because that prize money would have nearly doubled Decker’s 2019 hockey income, but instead it served as a 0.27% increase to Draisaitl’s roughly $9 million salary.
Naturally, Twitter was filled with righteous anger.
Don’t pass on Brianna Decker, the REAL @Enterprise NHL Premier Passer. #NHLAllStar #PayDecker #HOCKEYALLSTAR https://t.co/G5eLl37D6t— Alexis Miller (@alexis_millller) January 26, 2019
The @NHL will address this #PayDecker fiasco by— Beth Boyle Machlan (@bethmachlan) January 26, 2019
After a while, someone stepped up and agreed to write that house down payment-sized check for Decker, but not the NHL:
We’re gonna #PayDecker. pic.twitter.com/TbWSD7NAQP— CCM Hockey (@CCMHockey) January 26, 2019
The genius marketing move by CCM bumped #PayDecker up to viral status and earned some love from another Badger hockey legend:
Didn’t think I could ever love and respect this company more... until this. #payDecker @CCMHockey https://t.co/Gut6tjvIXl— Meghan Duggan (@mduggan10) January 26, 2019
Decker then took to Twitter to thank CCM:
Sincerely thankful @CCMHockey You have been nothing but 1st class the last 5 years I have been a part of your family! Thank you for supporting the men’s and women’s game equally! #NHLAllStar #MadeofHockey #Hockeyisforeveryone https://t.co/IAQSLQEdnN— Brianna Decker (@Bdecker14) January 26, 2019