NEW YORK (Jan. 20, 2009) –
Having climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro last summer and led Boston back to the top of the Eastern Conference this season, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara
will attempt a Hardest Shot natural hat trick when he shoots for his third straight title in the Cisco NHL Hardest Shot during 2009 Honda/NHL SuperSkills ® in Montreal’s Bell Centre on Saturday, Jan. 24 (6 p.m. ET, RDS, CBC, VERSUS, NHL Radio).
Chara will conduct a shootout with five impressive challengers, including Edmonton defenseman Sheldon Souray, who earlier this month staked his unofficial claim to the title of NHL’s hardest shooter by firing a slap shot that was clocked at 106.7 mph at the Oilers’ SuperSkills competition. Chara, Souray, Montreal’s Mike Komisarek, Tampa Bay’s Vincent Lecavalier, Nashville’s Shea Weber and the New York Islanders’ Mark Streit will be gunning for Al Iafrate’s official NHL All-Star SuperSkills record 105.2 mph shot set during the 1993 All-Star Weekend in Montreal.
Before the big bombers blast away, four of the League’s speedsters will vie for the title of Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater. Philadelphia’s Jeff Carter and New Jersey’s Zach Parise will represent the League’s forwards while Chicago’s Brian Campbell and Florida’s Jay Bouwmeester carry the banner for NHL defensemen in the competition that will determine who can complete a circuit of the Bell Center ice most rapidly.
Those four will be attempting to break the record 13.386-lap that Mike Gartner blazed in Boston in 1996.
Another 2008 champion, Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle, will be back to defend his title when eight of the League’s top sharpshooters take on the challenge of the McDonald’s NHL Accuracy Shooting. Kaberle, who won a tiebreaker shootout with Nashville’s Jason Arnott last year in Atlanta, will be tested by a gifted group of shooters headed by 2002 NHL Accuracy Shooting champion Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames and including Dallas’ Mike Modano, Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin, Chicago’s Jonathan Toews, Atlanta’s Ilya Kovalchuk, Ottawa’s Dany Heatley and Boston’s Marc Savard
The six-event 2009 Honda/NHL SuperSkills will begin with the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater. The Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge will follow, with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals attempting to defend his 2008 trick-shot title as fans throughout North America, voting by text message, determine the winner for the first time in NHL All-Star SuperSkills history.
While the Breakaway Challenge polls are open, the league’s top rookies and sophomores will race up and down the Bell Center ice in the non-stop, three-on-three YoungStars Game presented by Upper Deck.
The McDonald’s NHL Accuracy Shooting will follow the crowning of the fan-voted Scotiabank NHL Fan Fav Breakaway Challenge champion. The Cisco NHL Hardest Shot then takes center stage before the evening comes to a close with the Gatorade NHL Elimination Shootout, the NHL All-Star version of the time-honored practice of ending a hockey practice with a penalty shots contest. All 36 All-Star skaters and all six All-Star goaltenders will participate.
The 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend in Montreal will celebrate the Montreal Canadiens’ Centennial season with live national broadcasts of the Honda/NHL SuperSkills on Saturday, Jan. 24, and the NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 25, on CBC and RDS in Canada and VERSUS in the United States. NASN, ASN, J Sports, Sky Mexico, Fox Sports Australia and other NHL international broadcast partners will provide live coverage of both the Honda/NHL SuperSkills event and the NHL All-Star Game to more than 150 countries and territories in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, the Pacific Rim, Mexico and the Caribbean. NHL Radio will provide exclusive, national radio coverage which can be heard on stations around the United States and Canada as well as on Sirius XM Radio's NHL Home Ice, located at XM channel 204 and on SIRIUS channel 208 with the “Best of XM” programming package. NHL.com and NHL Network will provide extensive coverage of the All-Star Weekend.