Zdeno Chara signs with the Islanders; back to where it all started

The Islanders haves signed 44 year-old defenseman, Zdeno Chara to a one year deal. For the veteran defenseman, he is back to where his NHL career began in 1997.

Terms of the deal have yet to be made official.

Chara wanted to stay in the East

After the Caps were eliminated, Chara was pressed about his future. “I think it’s not always a decision I can make myself,” he explained. “Sometimes there are things in life you have to realize, and I have to have a conversation with my wife and children and see where we want to be in the next few days or weeks. After those conversations, I’m going to probably let the emotions settle in and see where I’m at.”

According to multiple reports, several teams were interested in adding Chara to their defense. One of those teams were the St. Blues.

zdeno chara
Apr 27, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) fights New York Islanders left wing Matt Martin (17) in the second period at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“Told the Blues are not an option for future Hall of Fame Dman Zdeno Chara,” Andy Strickland tweeted. “His focus, if he plays, will be to stay in the East to remain close to his family.”

Back in August, I noted that one team to keep an eye on was the Islanders. Ending his career where it began would be some bookend for the future Hall of Fame defender.

Chara back to where it all began; the Islanders

 “I had to get some dust off them,” Chara posted on Instagram of him and his old Isles jersey. “But sure they still looking good!”

Chara’s career spans 23 years with 1,608 games under his belt. During that time he’s recorded 207 goals, 459 points, for a total of 666 regular season points. The Islanders drafted him 56th overall in the third round of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

The Islanders traded Chara to the Ottawa Senators in order to acquire Alexis Yashin back in 2001. He would go on to play for the Bruins and Capitals before returning to the Island.

A native of Slovakia, Chara became a fixture in Boston and served as team captain from for 14 seasons. The highlight of his tenure was winning the Stanley Cup in 2011.