Bruins Captain Zdeno Chara
’s current trip to Raleigh, NC marks the fifth time the B’s defenseman has participated in NHL All-Star festivities.
But for Chara, the experience never gets old.
|Defenceman Zdeno Chara, of the Boston Bruins, takes a shot during the Hardest Shot contest at the NHL All-Star Superskills competition in Montreal on Saturday Jan. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press,Paul Chiasson) |
“I think the whole thing is pretty special," said Chara to bostonbruinsTV before yesterday's fantasy draft. "You’re meeting the top players in the league, you’re meeting people that you wouldn’t be able to meet during the season because everybody’s so busy.
“At these kinds of occasions everybody gathers in the same place and you can actually talk and spend some time talking to them and really catch up.”
Many of the players Chara will meet and spend time with at the All-Star events are, during the season, his opponents. But according to the B's captain, the competition of the regular season doesn’t inhibit the players’ abilities to enjoy the company of the NHL’s elite during the All-Star break.
“Yeah, you know, it’s kind of funny, most of these guys are goal scorers or players who put points on the board," said Chara. "I’m a guy who always competes against them tries to prevent them so I’m in a little bit...[of] an awkward position.
“But I’m sure they understand it’s a business and we all try to do the best for our teams.”
Chara has more to worry about during this All-Star break than just making new friends.
He’s the three time reigning champion of the Hardest Shot competition; he also holds the record with a 105.4 mph blast he registered in 2009.
Chara will defend his title tonight at 7 p.m. during the SuperSkills competition.
“Well I’m going to try to do my best like every year you know? But I know the competition is very very tough,” he said.
“There are some guys that can shoot the puck really hard, so it’s going to be hard but I’ll do my best.”
Although fans in and around the Hub of Hockey will be rooting for Chara to take home another title, Chara believes most players would like to see a new champion crowned.
“I won the last three skills so I know it’s nice to win, but like I said you know that [other] guys want to win,” he said. “And they feel that probably [they] have had enough of me, but like I said I try to do my best every year.”
Despite the hockey competition that happens over the All-Star break, Chara is also happy to spend some time exploring Raleigh with his family.
“Carolina is more maybe laid back…but I think that’s good too," he said. "You can actually enjoy more of it with your family and it’s different.”--Hannah Becker