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A look back at Zdeno Chara’s career with the Bruins


The great defenseman came to Boston as a free agent in 2006 and led the franchise to three Stanley Cup Finals, including the 2011 championship.

Zdeno Chara signed with the Bruins in 2006. JOHN TLUMACKI GLOBE STAFF

After 24 seasons in the NHL, Zdeno Chara is retiring.

The great defenseman arrived in Boston as a free agent in 2006 after playing eight seasons with the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators, and led the franchise to three Stanley Cup Finals, including the championship 2011.

The former Bruins captain took to Instagram to announce his retirement.

Here’s a look at Chara’s NHL career.

June 22, 1996: Drafted by the New York Islanders

Selected in the third round, Chara is drafted 56th overall.

Nov. 19, 1997: Made his NHL debut against Detroit

Splits the 1997-98 season between the Islanders and their AHL affiliate in Kentucky.

A look back at Zdeno Chara’s career with the Bruins
Don Sweeney and Zdeno Chara tangle along the boards during first period action of a game January 8, 2000. GLOBE STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN BOHN

Jan. 29, 1999: Scores his first NHL goal against the Coyotes

Splits the 1998-99 season between the Islanders and their AHL affiliate in Lowell.

June 23, 2001: Traded to Ottawa Senators

He’s shipped by the Islanders along with Bill Muckalt and a 2001 first-round pick (Jason Spezza) for Alexei Yashin.

June 10, 2004: Named to the NHL First All-Star Team

Also finished second in the Norris Trophy, awarded to the league’s top defenseman.

July 1, 2006: Leaves the Ottawa Senators and signs a contract with the Bruins

The deal is for five years, $37.5 million.

October 3, 2006: Named 19th captain in team history

The announcement was made by general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Dave Lewis.

January 24, 2007: Scores two goals in the NHL All-Star Game

It was his first appearance in the game as a Bruin and the second of his career.

February 28, 2009: Scored his 100th goal

Chara would finish the 2008-09 season with a career-high 19 goals

June 18, 2009: Wins the Norris Trophy after a 50-point season

He beats six-time winner Nicklas Lidstrom and Mike Green.

A look back at Zdeno Chara’s career with the Bruins
Zdeno Chara took to the ice for the Bruins in the 2010 NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park. THE BOSTON GLOBE/BOSTON GLOBE

October 10, 2010: Entering the last year of his contract, signs an extension

Chara agrees to the seven-year, $45.5 million contract as the Bruins were set to open the season in Prague.

January 17, 2011: Scores a hat trick

The accomplishment comes in his 893rd game, a 7-0 win over the Hurricanes.

June 15, 2011: Captain of the Bruins at the Stanley Cup

Chara played in his 100th career playoff game in the Game 7 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

A look back at Zdeno Chara’s career with the Bruins
Zdeno Chara hoists the Stanley Cup after the Bruins defeated the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 in 2011. CHIN, BARRY/GLOBE STAFF PHOTO

June 22, 2011: Wins the Mark Messier Leadership Award

The award is given “to the player who demonstrates great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season”.

Jan. 28-29, 2012: Set record for fastest shot and served as NHL All-Star Game captain

Chara blistered and shot at 108.8 mph in the skills competition. The next day, he scored the winning goal and finished with a plus-7.

A look back at Zdeno Chara’s career with the Bruins
Zdeno Chara led the Bruins to a sweep of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2013 Eastern Conference Finals to reach the Stanley Cup Finals, where the Bruins lost to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. JIM DAVIS

February 7, 2014: Serves as Slovakia’s flag bearer for the 2014 Olympics

He has represented Slovakia in seven World Championships and three Olympic Games, as captain in 2010 and 2014.

June 24, 2014: Named to the NHL First All-Star Team

It’s the third time in his career and the second with the Bruins. He was also named in the second team four times.

March 28, 2018: Signs a one-year extension to stay with the Bruins

The deal was for $5 million and was completed before the playoffs as Chara opted out of testing free agency.

March 23, 2019: Signs a one-year extension with the Bruins

Choosing not to enter free agency again, Chara’s contract is for $2 million.

Later that day, he scored the 200th goal of his career in a 7-3 win over the Panthers.

A look back at Zdeno Chara’s career with the Bruins
Zdeno Chara appeared in Game 5 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals with a broken jaw. JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

June 6, 2019: Plays Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final with a broken jaw

Just days after sustaining the injury in Game 4, Chara is back on the ice and would play Games 5-7 with a broken jaw.

June 12, 2019: Played his 14th Game 7, most by any player in NHL history.

November 5, 2019: Reached 1,500 games played in a loss at Montreal

He became the 21st player and sixth defender to reach the milestone.

January 13, 2020: Plays his 1,000th game as a member of the Bruins

The feat comes on the road in a 6-5 loss to the Flyers.

August 31, 2020: Chara plays his last game as a Bruin

The Bruins are eliminated from the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, held as a bubble in Canada amid the coronavirus pandemic.

December 30, 2020: Chara announces he’s moving on

News of his deal with the Capitals came shortly after he announced the Bruins’ decision to move forward without him on Instagram. He played 55 games for Washington, registering two goals and eight assists.

September 18, 2021: Chara signs a one-year contract with the Islanders

Back where it all started, Chara capped off his playing career with two goals and 12 assists for the Islanders in 72 games.


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