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The Boston Bruins might consider looking for a new captain for the new season. Zdeno Chara left the team for the Washington Capitals after signing $795,000 for one year. (Photo : Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
Zdeno Chara will now head to the Washington Capitals after 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins.
The long-time Bruins captain signed a one-year deal worth $795,000 with the Washington Capitals. The Hockey News senior writer, Ken Campbell, reported on Wednesday.
“As I begin this next chapter, I want the people of Boston to know how proud I was to be a Bruin and how grateful I am for all of the support over the years,” Chara said on his Instagram post.
Standing 6-foot-9 tall, Zdeno Chara became the tallest athlete in the National Hockey League (NHL). His unusual height in the sport has gained him the moniker “Big Z.”
Chara continued that he and his family were grateful for the Boston Bruins that served as his home for almost 14 years. In connection to Big Z’s signing with the Capitals, the Bruins are reportedly pursuing younger talents, and Chara respected the management’s decision.
After the franchise’s decision, the 43-year-old defenseman knew that he should now seek a greener pasture to benefit him and the Bruins.
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Chara will be joining fellow defensemen Brenden Dillion, Dmitry Orlov, Justin Schultz, John Carlson, and Trevor van Riemsdyk to name a few.
The addition of Chara will be quick morale and play boost for the team, as the Capitals locked in a franchise win in 2018. In this upcoming 2021 season, the Capitals will face Boston at least eight times.
On July 1, 2006, Zdeno Chara made a pact with the Boston Bruins after spending the first eight seasons in the league with the Ottawa Senators and the New York Islanders. Only three months after landing in Boston, Chara was given the responsibility of being the Bruins’ captain.
During the 2019-2020 season, Big Z recorded five goals and nine assists while setting a plus-minus rating of +26. As the oldest player in the Hockey League up to this day, the Slovakian athlete committed his loyalty to Boston.
At that time, Zdeno Chara appreciated that the Bruins could only go far when it comes to achievements.
With the Bruins, Chara took his team to the zenith in 2011 after winning the Stanley Cup title. Two years later, the Bruins appeared again in the finals, and they repeated it in 2019.
Big Z averaged 21 minutes per game with the Boston, and as a prominent shield of the team, he joined other outstanding defensemen in the franchise history like Bobby Orr, Eddie Shore, and Ray Bourque.
In January, Zdeno Chara was hailed as the sixth player in Bruins’ history to notch the 1,000th game. In the Bruins’ list of best players, he is ranked ninth.
With a plus-minus rating of +240, Chara was ranked eighth. Big Z had a total of 69 power-play goals in his whole Bruins’ career.
Since being drafted by the Islanders in 1996, the No. 56 Overall Pick in the third round became the tallest player to step into hockey. Up to this day, his record is still undisputed.
Big Z’s first All-Star Game was with Ottawa Senators in 2003.
Zdeno Chara won two trophies with the Bruins, including the Norris Trophy in 2009, where he was declared the league’s best defenseman. He also obtained the 2011 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.
After Chara’s first All-Start Game in 2003, he appeared again in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012.
In NHL’s all-time ranking, Chara ranked 15th after he spent 22 seasons with three different teams. He produced a total of 205 goals and 451 assists while playing with a +288 plus-minus grade.
In the playoffs, Big Z registered 18 goals and 52 assists with a plus-minus rating of +48.
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