Perhaps this isn’t a big surprise, considering Chara is the tallest player in NHL history, has 260 pounds at his disposal and his current slap shot speed record is 108.8 miles per hour. That staggering number was recorded at the 2012 All-Star Game skills competition hardest shot event, Chara’s fifth consecutive win, executed in front of a generally supportive crowd in Ottawa since he used to play there.
He’s improved his speed every year at the hardest shot: 100.4 (2007), 103.1 (2008), 105.4 (2009), 105.9 (2011), 108.8 (2012). Plus, his 2009 shot broke Al Iafrate‘s record from 1993 and he made it a charity event that year, donating $24,000 to Right to Play. If he wants to eclipse another record, he’ll need to win the hardest shot competition three more times in his career to beat Al MacInnis‘ record of seven hardest shots over 12 years.
Chara’s slap shot skills were noticed as far back as his early days with the New York Islanders and have just continued to improve since then.
Of course, the technology behind the slap shot has changed drastically since the days of Bernie Geoffrion (number 10 on the list), Dennis Hull (eighth) or even Iafrate himself (fourth). Players are bigger and stronger, composite sticks differ in style from the wooden sticks used in the olden days and speed guns allow for more accurate measurement of just how fast a guy can shoot.
The other currently-playing NHLers on the top slapper list are: Sheldon Souray (seventh), Steven Stamkos (sixth) and Shea Weber (fifth). Weber is also frequently seen at the hardest shot event.
Speaking of the hardest shot event, why not relive Chara’s enormous slapper from this year: