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NHL vs KHL's Hardest Slapshot: Who Has the Right to Say They Have It?

Cory DuceyAnalyst IIIJanuary 11, 2017

The debate on who has the hardest shot between NHL's Zdeno Chara's 108.8 mph and KHL's Alexander Ryazantsev 114.127 mph will rage on between the supporters and naysayers of both sides.

So, who does have the hardest shot in the world? 

 

The Short Answer

Neither does.

 

The Long Answer

The official regulations for the hardest slapshot vastly differs between the leagues.

 

The NHL

  • Four head-to-head matches featuring one shooter from each team.
  • Players alternate shots. Two attempts for each player.
  • A single puck is positioned on the ice 30 feet from the left of the goal. A player, starting no further than the nearest blue line, may skate towards the puck and shoot it from its positioned spot into the goal. The highest recorded shot (in mph) of two attempts will be scored.
  • Shots must be on goal to be calculated, and all shots are recorded by radar in miles per hour.
  • If a puck enters the goal uncalculated due to a malfunction of the radar equipment, the shooter will be allowed an additional attempt.
  • If player breaks his stick, he will be given another attempt.
  • At the conclusion of the individual matches, the player from each team who recorded the hardest single shot will meet in a final match to determine the NHL's Hardest Shooter. 

 

The KHL

  • Three skaters from each team take part.
  • The puck is placed at a distance of seven to eight meters from the goal. 
  • Each player sets off from the blue line and takes a shot at goal. 
  • Each player is given two attempts, with the faster of the two shots being recorded, after which a player from the opposing team takes his turn. 
  • The power (speed) of each shot (in km/h) is measured using special equipment.
  • In the event of the equipment failing to measure the speed of a shot, the player is allowed to repeat the attempt. 
  • In the event of two or more players from different teams achieving identical results, those players will take further shots, one shot each at a time, until a winner is determined.

 

There is a difference in each league that can adversely affect the results.

 

Puck Placement

The NHL has a set distance of 30 feet (just past the halfway mark of the blue line to the goal crease).

The KHL has it marked at about the hash marks between the faceoff circles, which is about 22.95-26.25 feet. Judging from the videos I watched at the past competitions, it is more on the 22.95 mark (NHL rink has the hash marks at 20 feet).

Issue: I cannot find the KHL rink specifications. If they are using the IIHF rink specifications, then the distance is closer at 19.69 Feet (six meters). If anyone can get that for me, we can shed some light into this.

I found a site that explains the physics of hockey, and this point of difference is huge in terms of the results of the shot from the different distances.

Bottom of page three: Approximately 0.2 MPH slow down per foot traveled.

They shoot from 30 feet in the NHL, which is about six MPH of slow down by the time the puck hits the net.

Not to mention the distance to travel to the pick can generate extra speed to launch a player's windup at the puck, which can also affect the speed of the shot.

The other issue I had was that Ryazanstev did not start his run at the blue line as clearly stated in the ruls, but at about the center line area, which gave him a large amount of momentum when he stepped into the shot.

Denis Kulyash of the KHL also surpassed the speed of Chara's shot at 110.3 at the 2011 KHL Super Skills Hardest Shot, but the same issues apply in terms of the puck's placement from the net. The shot will explode, and nearly 100 percent of that energy will be present by the time it got to the line for the reading.

 

Conclusion

If you take the results, then the KHL player has the hardest shot if he stuck to the rule of starting at the blue line.

If you take standardization in the shot, the NHL has the hardest shot simply because there is no range of about three feet that the puck can be placed.

So who has the definitive hardest shot? No one, really.

The rules of the hardest shot for both leagues are not flawed. They are different, and because of the difference of the placement of the puck, physics will tell you that the results will be different, and we all know that the math cannot lie.

Until the rules and regulation of distance is standardized, no one player or league has the right to claim hardest shot.

As far as I'm concerned, this all-around record is not official, and until one or the other conforms to rules that match identically, there will be debates going on forever on who has the hardest shot.

 

This is Cory Ducey saying "Hit Hard, But Keep It Clean."

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