Throughout, the 1950’s and 1960’s, the game of hockey underwent a sort of revolution centered around a new phenomenon: the slap shot. One of the innovators of the shot was Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion of the Montreal Canadians (pictured above), earning his nickname because of his howitzer of a slap shot that terrified opponents.
The game has changed quite a bit since Boom Boom hung up his skates, but the slap shot remains a tool in the offensive arsenal of hockey players around the globe. In a recent article linked below from Bleacher Report, the ten hardest slap shots in NHL history are ranked. I found the list very compelling, and not surprisingly Boom Boom was included, taking the number nine spot. I won’t spoil who took the crown, but the list does bring up a very interesting point that is often not considered. Slap shots today are regularly clocked well over 100 mph, far faster than any era before. This is partially because of the technology used in the making of today’s hockey sticks. Long gone are the days of wooden twigs, replaced instead by composite shafts and blades, allowing for the sticks to bend far further without breaking, which is how a slap shot generates its power. This change has made it much easier to shoot the puck hard and players have had to change their games in order to accommodate this.