What’S The Fastest Hockey Shot? [Updated!]

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Everyone likes to make quick, snappy little jabs with their hockey stick as they rush to join the puck on the ice. But who really is able to pull off the elusive “hockey shot” more accurately and swiftly than others? Let’s take a look at the science behind the biggest, meanest, and fastest ice-filling shots in sports history.

Tommy John

The face of modern hockey might not have been etched onto the sports landscape were it not for the 1971 incident that forever altered the game. As a New York Rangers player, Tommy John was participating in a regular practice drill on the frozen rink when he inexplicably fell ill. After collapsing on the ice, John was rushed to hospital where doctors diagnosed him with a sports hernia. The problem, as it turned out, was that John’s rectus abdominiscus muscle had been damaged during his time on the ice. The injury required extensive surgery and sidelined the star netminder for the rest of the season.

It was an injury that would haunt John for the rest of his life. The damage to his abdominal muscles left John with very little muscle tone and, as a result, hindered his ability to bounce back from damage. In the years that followed, as injuries continued to pile up, the record for the fastest NHL shot kept getting faster.

Mario Lemieux

Pittsburgh Penguins star Mario Lemieux might be the greatest hockey player of all time. Considered by many to be one of the greatest competitors in the history of sport, Lemieux was eager to prove that reputation correct in the 1985–86 season. During that year’s post-season, the young star scored the winning goal in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Final against the Edmonton Oilers, capping off a memorable series in which Lemieux totaled 12 goals and 13 assists.

In order to celebrate the victory, Lemieux’s teammates gifted him with an aluminum bat inscribed with the number “7.” The star netminder used the bat to smash a 6-pack of beer cans against the glass and continue celebrating in his own unique way.

Wayne Gretzky

The great Gordie Howe passed away in April 2014 surrounded by his family and friends. One of the last interviews Howe gave was to Sports Illustrated back in January 2000, a month before he officially announced his retirement from hockey. In that piece, Howe was quizzed as to which of his legendary Gordie Howe National Hockey League records he most looked forward to breaking. He chose the record for the fastest shot, and with good reason. In October 1999, at the age of 65, Howe recorded an astonishing 130.3 mph (209.1 km/h) during a batting practice session with the help of a speed gun.

Mark Messier

New York Rangers player Mark Messier was the greatest player of his generation and one of the most prominent figures in the history of the NHL. An eight-time Stanley Cup champion and the first overall pick in the 1991 NHL Draft, Messier was known for his hard-charging, aggressive play. In fact, the six-foot-three, 215-pound (100 kg) superstar is the embodiment of what is now known as the “classic” Ranger: big, strong, and fast.

In 2007, Messier was chosen as the final captain of the New York Rangers, succeeding the legendary Al Arbour. On December 12, 2007, Messier broke the previous record for the fastest shot in history by firing a laser into a tire at nearly 130 mph (209 km/h). Naturally, the NHL outlawed the practice, but it proved to be an effective training drill for Messier and his team.

Gavin McCauley

Gavin McCauley is one of the greatest goalies of all time. The star of the Canada men’s national ice hockey team achieved fame in a very prestigious league when he helped lead his country to a Gold Medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. At the time, McCauley was a 31-year-old rookie, having made his international debut just one year earlier. One of the highlights of the tournament for McCauley was a 31-save performance in a quarterfinal win against Finland.

In 1998, McCauley helped lead the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League to a Memorial Cup title and, a year later, helped the Canadian junior team to a World Juniors Championship.

Rob Thomson

Rob Thomson is one of the best young hockey players in the world, currently plying his trade with the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL. A dynamic center who also owns his own 3D printing company, Thomson is a force to be reckoned with physically as well as mentally. In March 2018, Thomson set a new personal best in the 80 meter shuttle run, clocking an incredible 3.92 seconds to finish fourth in the world among men his age!

Others

In addition to the players mentioned so far, there are dozens of others who have either set or broken speed records for the fastest shots in hockey history. Averaging more than two shots per game in the National Hockey League, a league that prides itself on its offensive play, it’s no wonder why the sport is often described as “fastest in the galaxy.” (Okay, maybe the hyperbole isn’t quite as much.) While there are no hard and fast rules as to which records can be broken, there’s one guideline that applies to all: the faster the better.

What’S The Fastest Hockey Shot?

The record for the fastest hockey shot may never be broken, but it will almost certainly be eclipsed time and time again. The previous seven records, all set in the past seven years, are testament to the sport’s recent growth in popularity and the advancement of technology. However, despite the growing speed gap, hockey will always be considered a “team sport” and one that values defensive play as much as anything else.

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