Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/19/13 at 02:19 AM ET
Yahoo Sports' Nicholas J. Cotsonika penned a fantastic profile of Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, and it is absolutely essential reading because he tells the truth: the NHL's most dominant defenseman at present didn't burst onto the NHL scene--he kind of stumbled onto it, taking years to grow into that big, mean body through oodles of hard work:
Before he was the biggest of the big, bad Boston Bruins, Zdeno Chara was just big. He was more of a curiosity, a 19-year-old kid from Slovakia, a third-round pick of the New York Islanders. He was trying to adjust and develop half-a-world from home in Prince George, a tough lumber town in the forests of British Columbia.
His junior team printed life-sized posters of him with measurements on the side, so regular folks could compare themselves to the giant and his 6-foot-9 height. Fans would hold them in the stands. Opponents could see them as they whirled around the rink for warm-ups. This being the Western Hockey League, the pugilists lined up to prove themselves – until Chara proved himself as a fighter. He still had to prove himself as a player.
“He wasn’t a guy that you looked at right away and said, ‘Wow, he’s going to be unbelievable in the NHL,’ ” said Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, who played against Chara back then. “He was a guy that you looked at and you’re like, ‘Well, he’s got a lot of work to do.’ ”
Continued, and Cotsonika's article is worth your time.
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About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org