There has always been talk about how hard Ales Kotalik can shoot the puck. Now we know.
Kotalik pounded a shot 105.1 milles an hour Sunday to claim the hardest shot title at the Danone Calgary Flames Superskills competition.
"That's hard," said forward David Moss. "We all knew he had a hard shot but that is big."
Indeed it is. The NHL record for hardest recorded shot is 105.5 and is held by Boston defenceman Zdeno Chara.
"I took a shot off my ankle from Ales when he was in Buffalo. It hurt. It was right on the ankle. It was amazing how much it hurt. So I knew he could shoot," said Craig Conroy, the captain of Team White during the competition who was happy to have Kotalik on his side.
Kotalik said he had never had his shot clocked before.
"I am pretty surprised. It has always been my kind of thing, working on the shot. I have never done that. I am surprised at it," said Kotalik, who also had a 102.3 mph shot.
Others who pounded some hard shots included Backlund ((99.5 mph) and defenceman Anton Babchuk (103.2 mph).
The annual competition, which drew about 12,000 fans on a cold, wintery day, features five events: hardest shot, fastest skater, shooting accuracy, breakaway relay and puck control.
Moss was crowned fastest skater, Rene Bourque was tops in shooting accuracy, Mikael Backlund won the puck control competition and Team Red, in overtime, won the breakway relay courtesy of Jarome Iginla scoring.
Bourque was four-for-four in the accuracy shooting. "The targets are pretty big," he smiled.
Team Red won the overall competition, 14-13, and claimed the yearly bobblehead in the Flames dressing room.
"It's fun," said Moss. "You don't get to do things like this every day. It's fun for us and fun for the fans."
"Despite the bad weather it was a great crowd. It was a good time," said Conroy.