Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Zdeno Chara: The Slovakian Sledgehammer

Zdeno Chara has been one of the most dominate defensemen in the NHL over the past couple of years.  He is the tallest player in the NHL at 6'9".  He has won the hardest slap shot numerous times at the All Star Weekends.  He has been known to crush opponents, and put fear into the eyes of many coming across the blue line.  One of the best players in the NHL, a captain for the Boston Bruins, and we have dubbed him the Slovakian Sledgehammer.  We feel that more people need to get to known, the man, Zdeno Chara.

He was born March 18, 1977 in Slovakia.  He played professionally in the Czech Republic for HC Sparta Praha before he was drafted in the 1996 NHL draft by the New York Islanders.  It was there he developed his style of play, a tough, no-nonsense defender.  He did not last long with the Islanders as he was traded to Ottawa during the 2001 draft in a trade that moved Alexei Yashin.  As you can see that trade really never benefited the Islanders as they hoped.  The time in Ottawa would last 5 years as well as Chara's contract was up and he did not resign with the team.

In March of 2006, Chara signed a deal with the Boston Bruins for 5 years and $37 million.  He was named the captain of the Bruins, becoming only the 3rd Slovakian captain in the NHL.  In Boston, Chara would become an annual All Star selection.  The first couple of years in Boston were met with more personal success until 2011 when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup.  Chara became the first Slovakian Captain to win the Stanley Cup.  Here is a video of the Stanley Cup:

Chara has been known more for his defense then anything.  Never a great scorer, but like we said before he owns the hardest slapshot in the NHL.  Not to bad for a guy, who when he was younger was told to play basketball because of his height.  Its a great thing that he did not choose basketball, especially for hockey fans.  He is one of the good guys in the NHL, and he has made us a fan of the Bruins and Slovakia because of his tough play.  Thank You, Zdeno Chara.