The Washington Capitals signed 43-year-old legend Zdeno Chara to a one-year, $795,000 contract on Wednesday. The deal not only gives the Capitals veteran leadership, but it also gives them another flamethrower on the ice.
As first pointed out by The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir, the Washington Capitals now have three players who have won the NHL’s Hardest Shot Competition: Chara, Alex Ovechkin, and John Carlson.
The three superstars have won the competition seven times combined.
Chara won the Hardest Shot competition five times, capturing the title at five consecutive events 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012 NHL All-Star Skills competitions. The 2010 All-Star Game wasn’t held due to the NHL’s participation in the Olympics that year.
Chara’s first title came at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. Chara rifled the puck 100.4 MPH at the net to win, wowing the crowd after hitting triple digits.
Chara defended his title a year later at Philips Arena – home of the Atlanta Thrashers. Chara improved upon his personal best by nearly 3 MPH, firing the puck 103.1 MPH.
A three-peat! Chara’s shot got even heavier at the Skills Competition held in Montreal. Chara slapped the puck 105.4 MPH, breaking former Capital Al Iafrate’s 16-year record of (105.2 MPH). Chara received a loud standing ovation from the crowd.
Two years later at the RBC Center in Raleigh North Carolina, Chara won his fourth-straight event, improving upon his new record by .5 MPH. A 105.9 MPH shot was impressive until the next year where things got bananas.
At Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Chara set the new record that still stands today. Chara sent a clapper 108.8 mph (175.5 km/hr) at the net.
Alex Ovechkin became the first current Capital player since Iafrate to win the Hardest Shot Competition in 24 years (1994). At the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Amalie Arena, Ovechkin nailed a shot 101.3 MPH towards the net. It was the lowest winning shot since Chara’s 2007 victory (100.4 MPH).
John Carlson defended the Capitals title a year later at the San Jose Sharks’ SAP Center. Carlson, out of nowhere, shot the puck harder than Ovechkin a year before, hitting 102.8 MPH on the radar gun.
Opposing goalies better say their prayers and eat their vitamins for every Caps game this season.
In total, if you count Sheldon Souray who played in the Washington Capitals organization (Hershey Bears), the Capitals have had six of the 11 different Hardest Shot competition winners play on their team during their careers. Via Wikipedia, the list consists of Al Iafrate (1990, 1993, 1994), Sergei Fedorov (2002), Sheldon Souray (2004), Zdeno Chara (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012), Alex Ovechkin (2018), and John Carlson (2019).
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.