Zdeno Chara is a true legend. He’s one of the best defensemen of all time and holds some incredible records. He’s the tallest player to ever play a game in the NHL and the defenseman with the most played games in league history.
Chara retired last year after 1 680 games played and 680 points recorded.
Chara was drafted by the New York Islanders in the third round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. They weren’t sure about selecting him, as they were unsure how a 6-foot-9 Slovakian would do in the NHL.
But during the pre-draft interview with Chara, the Islanders asked if he could fight. Chara said he could, and it didn’t take long until he had to prove it.
In his first year in North America, playing in the WHL, Chara had to answer the bell several times. With his size, he was a constant target for his opponents. But it didn’t take long until players realized it was quite impossible to beat him.
But Chara has now revealed that he had absolutely no idea how to fight.
In fact, when he had his first fight in North America, he didn’t even have his arms up to protect himself, and his teammate in the Prince George Cougars at that time, Ronald Petrovicky, had to tell him he was doing it wrong.
”I remember my first fight… I didn’t have my arms up,” Chara said on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast.
”Ronald Petrovicky was screaming to me, ’Get your arms up! Get your arms up!’ I was going to my first fight, and I was just swinging my arms like Conor McGregor, going towards this guy. I did well in that fight, I believe I won that fight, but then Ronald was like, ’You’ve got to put your arms up.’”
Chara said that not many of his fighting opponents returned for a round two, but he still respected everyone trying to fight someone his size.
”I have so much respect for everyone I fought,” he said.