If anyone in the history of hockey has earned their nickname, it’s Zdeno Chara.
“Big Z” has come up huge throughout his 23-year NHL career. He helped the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup in 2011 and attempted to play through a gruesome jaw injury to earn the team another title. The 44-year-old defenseman also carries a big stick and holds the record for the hardest slap shot in NHL history, rocketing a puck 108.8 mph during the 2012 NHL All-Star Skills Competition.
Chara’s nickname comes from a much more obvious reason, though: He’s huge. At a towering 6-foot-9, the defenseman could be mistaken for a Celtic. Now back with the New York Islanders, he is continuing a historic career.
His stats are impressive on their own, but how does he stack against other players in the height department? Here is a look at the tallest -- and shortest -- players in the history of the NHL.
Who is the tallest player in NHL history?
Chara takes the title of tallest player in league history. Nobody has eclipsed his 6-foot-9 stature, at least without the help of skates.
There are a handful of players who have gotten close to Chara. Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers and Ottawa Senators prospect Mads Sogaard are the three active players who are 6-foot-8.
John Scott and Joe Finley, who each retired within the last 10 years, were also 6-foot-8.
Who is the tallest goalie in NHL history?
Another aptly-nicknamed player shares the record as the tallest goalie in NHL history.
Ben Bishop, who is 6-foot-7, has been called “Big Ben.” It may not be original, but since the Dallas Stars netminder is a whopping 6-foot-7, it undoubtedly works.
Also coming in at 6-foot-7 is Edmonton Oilers goalie Mikko Koskinen.
Who is the shortest player in NHL history?
The shortest player in NHL history was also in charge of patrolling the net.
Roy “Shrimp” Worters measures in as the shortest player to ever take the ice in an NHL game. Standing at 5-foot-3, the goalie put together a distinguished NHL career. The Hall of Famer played from 1925 to 1937 and earned two All-Star selections, the 1928-29 Hart Memorial Trophy and the 1930-31 Vezina Trophy.
Darren Peng and Robbie Moore are the next-shortest goalies in NHL history at 5-foot-5.
Who is the shortest player in the NHL today?
Nathan Gerbe comes in as the shortest player in the current NHL and only one inch from tying Worters as the shortest player in league history.
The 5-foot-4 left winger has been in the league since 2008 and has played for three organizations: the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and now the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Gerbe and Chara have squared off before, and it has made for some wild images:
Who are the tallest and shortest players on each NHL team?
There are some drastic height differences between the tallest and shortest players for franchises across the NHL. All but four teams have a skater under 5-foot-10, while 28 teams have someone taller than 6-foot-4.
Here’s a breakdown of the tallest and shortest players within each organization:
Tallest: RW Buddy Robinson, G Anthony Stolarz -- 6-foot-5
Shortest: C Danny O'Regan -- 5-foot-9
Tallest: G Ivan Prosvetov -- 6-foot-5
Shortest: D Axel Bergkvist, LW Michael Carcone, C Dimitri Pestunov -- 5-foot-9
Tallest: LW Joona Koppanen, D Nick Wolff, D Brandon Carlo -- 6-foot-5
Shortest: D Jack Ahcan -- 5-foot-8
Tallest: RW Tage Thompson -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: C Arttu Ruotsalainen, C Mason Jobst -- 5-foot-8
Tallest: D Nikita Zadorov, G Jacob Markstrom -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: C Matthew Phillips -- 5-foot-7
Tallest: C Jordan Staal, C Maxim Letunov, LW Steven Lorentz, RW Egor Korshkov, D Eric Gelinas, G Frederik Andersen -- 6-foot-4
Shortest: D David Warsofsky -- 5-foot-9
Tallest: C Jujhar Khaira, C Kirby Dach, D Alec Regula, D Connor Murphy, D Seth Jones, Ivan Nalimov -- 6-foot-4
Shortest: LW Alex DeBrincat -- 5-foot-7
Tallest: G Devan Dubnyk -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: D Samuel Girard, D Jordan Gross -- 5-foot-10
Columbus Blue Jackets
Tallest: RW Patrik Laine, D Gabriel Carlsson -- 6-foot-5
Shortest: LW Nathan Gerbe -- 5-foot-4
Tallest: G Ben Bishop -- 6-foot-7
Shortest: D Sami Vatanen, LW Joel Kiviranta, C Mavrik Bourque, C Riley Damiani -- 5-foot-10
Detroit Red Wings
Tallest: C Michael Rasmussen -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: C Kyle Criscuolo -- 5-foot-8
Tallest: G Mikko Koskinen -- 6-foot-7
Shortest: RW Kailer Yamamoto -- 5-foot-8
Tallest: RW Serron Noel -- 6-foot-5
Shortest: LW Ryan Lomberg -- 5-foot-9
Los Angeles Kings
Tallest: C Quinton Byfield -- 6-foot-4
Shortest: C Blake Lizotte -- 5-foot-7
Tallest: G Dereck Baribeau, D Fedor Gordeev, LW Jordan Greenway, C Nick Bjugstad -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: D Joe Hicketts, RW Mats Zuccarello, C Kyle Rau -- 5-foot-8
Tallest: C Eric Staal, D Shea Webber, D Joel Edmundson -- 6-foot-4
Shortest: RW Cole Caufield -- 5-foot-7
Tallest: RW Michael McCarron, D Ben Harpur -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: RW Rocco Grimaldi -- 5-foot-6
New Jersey Devils
Tallest: RW Nikita Popugaev, D Kevin Bahl, D Dougie Hamilton -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: C Chase De Leo -- 5-foot-9
New York Islanders
Tallest: D Zdeno Chara -- 6-foot-9
Shortest: LW Ruslan Iskhakov -- 5-foot-8
New York Rangers
Tallest: LW Tin Gettinger, D Jarred Tinordi -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: LW Patrick Newell, RW Ty Ronning -- 5-foot-9
Tallest: G Mads Sogaard -- 6-foot-8
Shortest: LW Tyler Ennis, D Erik Brannstrom, D Victor Mete -- 5-foot-9
Tallest: LW Samuel Morin, LW Isaac Ratcliffe -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: RW Cam Atkinson, RW Bobby Bink -- 5-foot-8
Tallest: C Brian Boyle, LW Radim Zohorna -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: C Jordan Bellerive -- 5-foot-10
San Jose Sharks
Tallest: G Magnus Chrona -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: LW Jayden Halbgewachs -- 5-foot-8
Tallest: D Jamie Oleksiak -- 6-foot-7
Shortest: C Colin Blackwell, C Yanni Gourde -- 5-foot-9
St. Louis Blues
Tallest: C Logan Brown, D Collin Parayko, Jon Gillies -- 6-foot-6
Shortest: C Sam Anas, C Hugh McGing -- 5-foot-8
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tallest: D Andrej Sustr -- 6-foot-8
Shortest: C Cory Conacher -- 5-foot-8
Toronto Maple Leafs
Tallest: LW Pierre Engvall, D Martin Marincin -- 6-foot-5
Shortest: C Denis Malgin, LW Brett Seney, LW Nicholas Robertson, RW Nikita Gusev, D Mac Hollowell -- 5-foot-9
Tallest: D Tyler Myers -- 6-foot-8
Shortest: C Sheldon Dries, LW Nic Petan, D Brad Hunt -- 5-foot-9
Vegas Golden Knights
Tallest: C Mason Primeau, D Nicolas Hague -- 6-foot-5
Shortest: C Jonathan Marchessault, LW Brandon Kruse -- 5-foot-9
Tallest: C Aliaksei Protas, RW Anthony Mantha -- 6-foot-5
Shortest: LW Conor Sheary -- 5-foot-8
Tallest: D Logan Stanley -- 6-foot-7
Shortest: C Luke Johnson, C Marko Dano, LW C.J. Suess -- 5-foot-11