Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/25/09 at 10:10 AM ET
from Larry Wigge of NHL.com,
There are no more growing pains for Zdeno Chara.
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound defenseman from Trencin, Slovakia, hasn’t had a major growth spurt since he was 17—shortly after he grew six inches in a two-year span. He no longer has to hear coaches tell him maybe he should try basketball or some other sport. He’s no longer a big joke to some teammates, who watched him clumsily skate around the rink and laughed behind his back.
No, when Chara turned 22, the rest of his body caught up with his height, a development for which the Boston Bruins are eternally grateful. Now, equipment comes custom made for Chara. He no longer plays with skates held together by tape, glue and screws. Nor does he have trainers sew extra material from old sweaters onto the bottom of his jersey to cover his hockey pants.
“I wasn’t supposed to make it. I was too tall, too awkward, too everything,” Chara said. “I couldn’t make anyone in Slovakia believe I could play ... so I had to leave home.”
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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