A week ago, the agent for longtime Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara told TSN that re-signing with Boston would be the veteran defenseman’s priority. But instead Chara will be joining a 2021 divisional foe.
Chara has signed a one-year deal with the Capitals, a move first reported by Ken Campbell on Wednesday before Chara announced it himself on Instagram. Although Washington and Chara’s former Bruins team aren’t normally in the same division, a restructured arrangement for the 2021 season has both the Caps and Boston in the East division. Chara’s contract with the Capitals will be for one year and $795,000, according to Washington.
“My family and I have been so fortunate to call the great city of Boston our home for over 14 years,” Chara wrote on Instagram. “Recently, the Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision. Unfortunately, my time as the proud Captain of the Bruins has come to an end.”
A post shared by Zdeno Chara (@zeechara33)
At 43, Chara was still regarded as one of the better defenseman available as a free agent this winter. He recorded 14 points with the Bruins during the 2019-20 season in 68 games while playing more than 21 minutes per game.
The 6-9 defenseman with a mighty slap shot joined the Bruins in 2006 as a free agent. He went on to play 14 years in Boston, scoring 148 goals and adding 333 assists. Chara’s time in Boston included winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, with Chara recording four assists in that series victory over Vancouver.
Chara was also named the captain of the Bruins prior to his first season with the club and wore the ‘C’ ever since. He ranks eighth in Bruins history in plus-minus at +240 and ninth in team history with 69 power-play goals.
The Capitals acquire Chara coming off a 41-20 season in 2019-20 that ended in a first-round playoff loss. He’ll join a defensive unit in front of Ilya Samsonov that includes John Carlson, Brenden Dillon, Justin Schultz and Dmitry Orlov.
The NHL season is scheduled to get underway on Jan. 13, with the Capitals on the schedule for their opener on Jan. 14.
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