One of the most legendary players in NHL history has officially called it quits today. Zdeno Chara has announced that he will be retiring from professional hockey, signing a one-day contract this afternoon with the Boston Bruins to do it as a member of the team he is connected to most.
In a post on Instagram, “Big Zee” released the following:
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. 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.
There are so many people that have helped contribute to my success, including all of you, and I look forward to properly thanking everyone this afternoon.
Starting his career with the New York Islanders back in 1997 after being selected in the third round, Chara would eventually find his way to the Ottawa Senators where he became a true star. After four years patrolling the blueline of Canada’s capital, he would join the Boston Bruins where he would spend the next 14 seasons and 1,023 games.
In total, his 1,680 regular season games put him seventh all-time in NHL history, first among defensemen. Even as he entered his mid-forties, he was still playing regularly for the Washington Capitals and, finally, the Islanders once again, as a bookend for his career.
The winner of the 2009 Norris Trophy, and a finalist on five other occasions, Chara should not have to wait long to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. He got close to the Stanley Cup several times, but only lifted it once, in 2011 with the Bruins.
There are few players that have ever been more imposing, more dominant, or more recognizable than Chara, whose 6’9″ frame will be missed by many on NHL rinks moving forward. With 209 goals, 680 points, and 2,085 penalty minutes, there was something unique about the gigantic defender.
Wow! Never forget when he threw that dude into the wall! see ya!
A model of durability. I’ll miss being able to relt on him playing NHL hockey in a given year.
Father Time found a way to catch The Stick-Wielding Giraffe, aka Big Z. One of the many great memories for me was after he was being subjected to various TV and Radio talking heads about being done and needing to retire. Several years ago. B’s vs Bolts. B’s go on PK (not Marchand’s fault this time). Tyler Johnson looks to start a wheel play in the B’s end, but Big Z has other ideas and deflects the puck back into the neutral zone off the shaft of his stick. Marchand was at the point, and takes off for the shortie, with Johnson never being able to catch him. Another one was a scrum around the B’s net against the Bolts (might have been same game, can’t remember), and Big Z has had enough of Ceddy Pacquette’s act and gives him an epic uppercut throat-punch. Dropped him like a sack of potatoes. Beauty! Best of luck in retirement, Big Z!
One day contract? Stupid, Meaningless.
There’s that infinite wisdom we have all come to appreciate.
So, for the very first time, your post fits perfectly.
You know something, WP? I don’t care if it’s against site rules or not, or whether the post gets deleted. You being a special snowflake bellowing like a castrated calf every time a woman gets hired to do anything is one thing, but this? Go stick your trolling ass in a meat grinder.
Chara was a bully, And one of the dirtiest players I have ever seen. I remember when he went after Kessell. Real classy pretty boy. Good ridense!!!!!!
We won’t see his like again. Thank you for all your great years as a Bruin, Z. In the skate steps of great Bruins defensemen such as Shore, Orr, Park and Bourque, you earned a step on the podium. Enjoy your retirement.
Elliotte Friedman describes Chara as the greatest free-agent signing in history. Can’t disagree.