By Ian Oland
The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Zdeno Chara to a one-year $795,000 deal.
Chara, a six-time NHL All-Star and a 2011 Stanley Cup champion, is currently the oldest player in the league (43-years-old) and the tallest player in NHL history (6-9).
The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell was the first to report the news.
OFFICIAL! BIG Z TO DC!
The Washington Capitals have agreed to terms with defenseman Zdeno Chara to a one-year, $795,000 contract.
Full Details: https://t.co/1Pqb61mP5q#ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/Ad50bX7LvA
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 30, 2020
“We are extremely pleased to have Zdeno join the Capitals organization,” Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said in a release. “We feel his experience and leadership will strengthen our blueline and our team.”
Chara thanked Bruins fans and said goodbye on his personal Instagram.
His message reads:
My family and I have been so fortunate to call the great city of Boston our home for over 14 years. Recently, The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision. Unfortunately, my time as the proud Captain of the Bruins has come to an end.
I want to first of all thank the passionate and loyal Bruins fans, who shared the ups and downs of each season over the past 14 years. I’m proud that we were able to return the Stanley Cup to Boston and celebrating with all of you, in Boston, New England, and around the world, was a moment I will never forget. You all have treated my family and me as one of your own and I will always be grateful. Thank you.
I would also like to thank all of the Bruins staff. The trainers, equipment staff, medical staff (all doctors, dentists and therapists), PR and hockey operations, the front office staff, arena staff, security and everyone who helped make the past 14 years so memorable. While there are too many names to mention, please know how sincerely grateful I am to each of you.
I want to thank the Jacobs family for the opportunity to represent the Bruins as their Captain. I am grateful and proud of everything we accomplished.
To all of my teammates throughout the years in Boston, I am so lucky to have a lifetime of memories that I will never forget. From the highest highs to the lowest lows, we were always a team, we were always there for each other and those bonds and friendships will never be forgotten.
My family and I will always cherish the strong friendships and connections we made here. From the beginning in 2006, we have been embraced by this community and made to feel welcome. We will always be grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the community and for the people who always supported me and my family.
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. “Thank you” does not seem adequate to express my sincere gratitude. I will always be a Bruin. I will always love Boston.
Chara has played the last 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins and was the team’s captain. The Capitals’ money for Chara was likely opened up after fellow legend Henrik Lundqvist was forced out of next season due to a heart condition.
During his 22 seasons in the NHL, Chara has scored 205 goals and tallied 656 points in 1,553 games. Chara has won the NHL’s Hardest Shot Competition in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012. He owns the hardest shot of all-time with a 108.8 mph slap shot in 2012.
Chara is known for his tireless work ethic and toughness. In 2019, Chara played through multiple jaw fractures during Games Five, Six, and Seven of the championship series.
His euphoric joy lifting the Stanley Cup in 2011 is only rivaled in recent memory by Alex Ovechkin in 2018.
Now here are some fun, physical videos of Chara playing against the Capitals.
I think he’s going to fit in fine!
More from the Capitals:
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have agreed to terms with defenseman Zdeno Chara on a one-year, $795,000 contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Chara, 43, recorded 14 points (5g, 9a) in 68 games with the Boston Bruins last season. The Trencin, Slovakia, native registered 3:11 of penalty kill time per game to rank 11th in the NHL and help the Bruins to the third best penalty kill percentage last season (84.3). Chara also finished second among Bruins defensemen in blocked shots (101).
Prior to joining Washington, Chara was 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. Chara is entering his 23rd career season in the NHL. Among active NHL players, Chara ranks first in plus/minus (+288), time on ice (37,128:55), penalty minutes (1,956), third in games played (1,553) and ninth in shots (3,271). He is one of six Bruins to appear in at least 1,000 games (1,023), and his 481 points (148g, 333a) rank third among Bruins defensemen in franchise history, behind Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506) and Bobby Orr (888).
In 1,553 career regular season games with the Bruins, New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators – the sixth-most games in NHL history among defensemen – Chara has 656 points (205g, 451a).
A Stanley Cup champion with Boston in 2011, Chara became the second European-born captain to win the Stanley Cup (Nicklas Lidstrom) and the first from a country behind the Iron Curtain (Czechoslovakia). Chara has recorded 70 points (18g, 52a) in 195 playoff games, the ninth-most playoff games by a defenseman in NHL history and the most among active defensemen.
Over his 22-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 recording 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 is a six-time NHL All-Star (2002-03, 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 scored one goal and five assists in 17 games. Most recently, Chara 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.
Chara was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the third round (56th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
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