Veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara signed a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday and has announced his retirement from the NHL. Chara played 14 of his 24 professional seasons as a member of the Bruins.
“After 25 seasons of professional hockey 1,680 NHL regular season games, 200 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and hundreds of international games, I am proud to announce my decision to retire from the National Hockey League,” Chara posted on Instagram. “In doing so, I am honored to return to TD Garden today to sign a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins and officially finish my career with the team that has meant so much to me and my family.”
Chara logged 1,680 games during his NHL career, which are the most by a defenseman in league history. He also ranks sixth in Bruins history in games played (1,023). During his time in Boston, Chara registered 481 points (148 goals and 333 assists).
The 6’9 defenseman earned several accolades throughout his storied NHL career. He won the 2009 Norris Trophy, a Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 and appeared in six All-Star Games. During his Norris Trophy-winning season, Chara scored a career-high 19 goals while dishing out 31 assists in 80 games for Boston. Chara also became the first Bruins captain since 1972 to help the franchise win the Stanley Cup.
He recorded 680 points (209 goals and 471 assists) during his 24 years in the league and currently ranks third in points by a Bruins defenseman (481) behind only Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506) and Bobby Orr (888).
Chara was originally selected in the third round (No. 56 overall) of the 1996 NHL Draft by the New York Islanders. He spent the first eight seasons of his NHL career splitting time between the Islanders and Ottawa Senators before landing with the Bruins in free agency in 2006.
Chara also spent the 2020-21 campaign with the Washington Capitals and wrapped up his career with the Islanders for a second stint this past season. The lumbering blue-liner registered two goals and 12 assists in 72 games for the Islanders during the 2021-22 season.