Zdeno Chara finally calls it a career, will retire with Bruins

zdeno chara
Apr 17, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) waits for the faceoff during the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Over the summer, Zdeno Chara was going to take time to decide his future. His agent Matt Keator indicated last week that the decision would come after this soon.

Well, it’s been a long ride for Chara that finally comes to an end on Tuesday morning.

In an Instagram post, Chara announced his retirement but will do so first by signing a one-day contract with the Boston 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,” he said. “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,Β and I look forward to properly thanking everyone this afternoon.”

Zdeno Chara retires

zdeno chara
Feb 24, 2022; San Jose, California, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) during the third period against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Chara, 45, registered 14 points in 72 games for the New York Islanders during the 2021-22 campaign. In his final season, he set the NHL record for most games played by a defenseman when he appeared in his 1,652nd game surpassing Chris Chelios β€” who played in the NHL from 1984 through 2010.

The veteran of 24 NHL seasons started his career with the Islanders, who drafted him in the third round in 1996 but emerged as a star after a trade to the Ottawa Senators in 2001.

Chara has 680 career points (209 goals, 471 assists) and 2,085 penalty minutes in 1,680 games with the Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Bruins and Capitals.

A seven-time NHL All-Star, Chara won the 2008-09 Norris Trophy and the 2011 Stanley Cup during his 14-year run as a captain of the Boston Bruins from 2006-2020.

He also has 70 points (18 goals, 52 assists) in 200 playoff games. The 6-foot-9 Slovakia native was just the second European-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup, joining Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings.