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Skills Competition

Weber wins Hardest Shot at 106.5 mph at All-Star Skills

Canadiens defenseman defeats defending champ Carlson of Capitals with MacInnis on hand

by Pete Jensen @NHLJensen / NHL.com Senior Fantasy Editor

ST. LOUIS -- Shea Weber got a look at the past before showing he is still a force in the present.

The Montreal Canadiens defenseman won the Enterprise NHL Hardest Shot at the 2020 NHL All-Star Skills presented by New Amsterdam Vodka at Enterprise Center on Friday, his fourth straight victory when he's participated in the event.

He had the two hardest shots, winning at 106.5 mph. His other shot was 105.9 mph, each better than defending champion John Carlson, the Washington Capitals defenseman whose best shot was 104.5 mph.

 

[RELATED: NHL All-Star Skills resultsComplete 2020 NHL All-Star Game coverage]

 

But Weber was more excited about the historical significance of St. Louis Blues legend Al MacInnis leading off the event. The retired defenseman, a seven-time winner of the NHL Hardest Shot contest, was the first participant of the night and shot 100.4 mph with a wooden stick.

"That was awesome," Weber said. "Obviously a guy I watched growing up and admired his game and tried to take as much as I could from his game in mine. Seeing him out there and talking to him for a few minutes was definitely an awesome experience.

"I asked him if I could use his wooden stick to see if I could do it too," Weber said while laughing. "The old Blues; that was cool."

Video: Weber talks about winning the hardest shot contest

MacInnis, a right-hand shot who played 23 NHL seasons, expressed mutual respect for Weber, who's in his 15th NHL season.

"He's a mountain of a man," MacInnis said of Weber (6-foot-4, 230 pounds). "I met Shea a couple years ago down in L.A. in the All-Star Game when they introduced the Top 100 (players in NHL history), and I didn't realize how big he was. And then I get out there today and the size of the players, and it's like, 'Really?' I can understand why they're shooting the puck 106, 105, 107, whatever they're doing with the technology of the sticks today.

"But between that and the size of the players, the athleticism, the way they keep themselves in shape, I'm not surprised they're shooting it that hard."

Weber's four wins trail MacInnis (seven) and Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (five). Chara has the most consecutive wins (five; 2007-12); MacInnis won four straight from 1997-2000.

One of several Blues alumni participating in the skills competition, MacInnis proved a 56-year-old can still hang with the best active shooters.

"No question; that guy has a hard shot," Blues goalie Jordan Binnington said. "It's well-known in the history of the League. It's fun to see him out there. I'm sure that was fun for him to experience. He's still got it, right?"

Video: Hardest Shot: MacInnis blasts 100 MPH slap shot

Weber's still got it too. He won the contest in 2017 with a shot of 102.8 mph, in 2016 with a shot of 108.1 mph, and in 2015 with a shot of 108.5 mph. Weber was not selected to the All-Star Game in 2018 or 2019 but kept his momentum going in his return.

Carlson, whose winning shot last year in San Jose was 102.8 mph, shot right before Weber in the contest and was leading prior to Weber's attempts. Carlson's first shot of 102.4 mph tied Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson, who shot right before Carlson and temporarily had the lead.

"I was getting a little nervous," Weber said. "The scores just kept getting higher and higher."

Weber represented the Nashville Predators at the All-Star Game in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016 before being selected from Montreal in 2017.

"Obviously, without the fans, we wouldn't be here," Weber said. "It's a great experience for all of us and we don't take it for granted. It's something that we cherish. They're booing Patrick Kane and cheering for their home guys. It's a fun place."

 

Results

Shea Weber, Montreal Canadiens -- 106.5 mph

John Carlson, Washington Capitals -- 104.5

Elias Pettersson, Vancouver Canucks -- 102.4

Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames -- 102.1

Victor Hedman, Tampa Bay Lightning -- 102.1

Seth Jones, Columbus Blue Jackets -- 98.8

Video: Hardest Shot: Weber clocks shot at 106.5 MPH to win

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