Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/19/13 at 03:19 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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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.
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