Zdeno CharaThe massive defensive man who led the Boston Bruins to his sixth Stanley Cup announced Tuesday that he is retiring from the National Hockey League.
The 45-year-old finished his career with 209 goals and 680 points in 1,680 games over 24 seasons with the New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Bruins and Washington Capitals before returning to the Islands for the 2021-22 season. Shara scored twice and had 14 points while averaging about 19 minutes of ice time over 44 games in what would eventually become his definitive National Hockey League campaign.
Shara, who at 6-foot-9 was also the tallest player in NHL history, made his official announcement through an Instagram post. He also said in the post that he signed a one-day contract so that he could retire as Bruin.
“I am honored to return to TD Garden today to sign a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins and officially end my career with a team that has meant so much to me and my family,” Chara wrote.
Chara played his first eight seasons with Islanders and Senators before signing with the Bruins in the 2006-07 season. Bruins also appointed Chara Captain just a few months after he was signed as a free agent. He became the third Slovak-born player to captain the NHL team.
Chara spent 14 seasons with the Bruins and enjoyed one of the most memorable careers in the illustrious history of the franchise.
His time in Boston also saw him emerge as one of the NHL’s leading defenders and leaders. Chara won the Norris Cup for his performance during the 2008-09 season. He scored 19 goals and 50 points averaging over 26 minutes in 80 matches. He also placed eighth in the Hart Trophy vote that season.
In the 2010-11 season, Shara played a crucial role in the Bruins winning a thrilling seven-game final series in the Stanley Cup against the Vancouver Canucks to help the franchise capture their first title in 39 seasons.
In the same season, Chara also won the Marc Messier Leadership Award.
Chara spent 14 seasons with the Bruins and scored 481 points in 1,023 appearances for the club.
He remained with the Bruins through the 2019-20 season before signing with The Capitals at the age of 43. Chara spent 55 games with the hats, then signed a contract with the islanders to take a second stint with the club that drafted in the third round in 1996.
Chara’s career has also had an impact on what he did outside of the NHL. He led his native Slovakia to two silver medals at the IIHF Men’s World Championships while he led his homeland to a second place in the Hockey World Cup in 2016.
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