The Boston Bruins announced Saturday that they have signed a one-year contract extension with defender Zdeno Chara. Chara, the 2009 Norris winner and a critical part of the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Bruins, turned 42 earlier this week.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 23, 2019
This impact chart from hockeyviz estimates Chara’s current impact on his team:
He’s no longer a game breaker, but he’s still a reliable top-four minute-getter. Even if he weren’t, he’s still a Boston legend, and his new salary won’t break the bank. (Chara’s current one-year deal has him paid $5 million.)
At 42 years old, Chara is flirting with some esteemed greybeard company. Another Boston icon, Mark Recchi, played 81 games in his age-42 year. Teemu Selanne’s age-43 season was his last. And then there’s Jaromir Jagr, that belovedbête noire, who played a full 82 games in his age-44 season.
BOSTON – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, March 23, that the team has signed defenseman Zdeno Chara to a one-year contract extension through the 2019-2020 season worth $2 million, plus an additional $1.75 million in performance-based incentives.
Chara, who is in his 21st NHL season and 13th with Boston in 2018-19, has appeared in 55 games this season, recording four goals and seven assists for 11 points with a plus-16 rating.
The 42-year-old defenseman has led the Bruins to a postseason berth in nine of his 12 completed seasons with the team, including a Stanley Cup Championship in 2010-11. He ranks sixth in franchise history in games played (948), and fourth in points by a defenseman (452) behind Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506), Bobby Orr (888), and Dit Clapper (474).
Chara, who is the second-oldest active player in the NHL, is also the longest-tenured captain in the league, having worn the “C” for the Bruins since his first season in Boston in 2006-07. Standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 250 pounds, he is also the tallest player to ever play in the NHL. Among active NHL players, Chara ranks fourth in games played (1,478), first in plus/minus (plus-256), first in penalty minutes (1,892), 10th in shots (3,169), and fourth in time on ice (25,455:11). He also ranks sixth among active players in postseason games played (159), first in postseason plus/minus (plus-41), and second in postseason penalty minutes (192).
Over his 20-year NHL career, Chara has received several individual accolades. He was awarded the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 2008-09, after tallying a career-high 19 goals and 31 assists in 80 games with Boston. He was the recipient of the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2010-11 for his exemplary leadership both on and off the ice. He was named to the NHL First All-Star Team three times (2003-04, 2008-09, 2013-14), the Second All-Star Team four times (2005-06, 2007-08, 2010-11, 2011-12), and was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game five times (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12). He was also the recipient of the Golden Puck as Slovakia’s Player of the Year three times (2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12).
Chara has represented his home country of Slovakia in international play on several occasions, including three Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014), in which he has posted one goal and five assists in 17 games. Most recently, he served as alternate captain for Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, notching two goals in six games to help lead the team to a second-place finish to Team Canada.
The Trencin, Slovakia native was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the third round (56th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
Headline photo: Steve Babineau
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