Zdeno Chara is an NHL icon. The captain of the Boston Bruins for most of his fourteen years there was not re-signed by the Bruins’ management. Chara wanted to finish his career in Boston, but the Bruins couldn’t give him that common courtesy. So, Big Z took an offer with the Washington Capitals. Seriously Bruins, be better.
Zdeno Chara’s goals were pretty clear if not lofty when he signed with the Boston Bruins in July of 2006.
“I want to lead this team by setting a good example with my work ethic, drive, dedication and discipline,” Chara said through his agent when Boston signed him to a five-year, $37.5 million contract at the start of free agency. “There is a lot of work ahead of us, but I look forward to having this team compete for a Stanley Cup in the future.”
To say he kept to his promises would be an understatement, and that will be Chara’s legacy in Boston forever, even after he announced he was leaving the team after 14 seasons in Black and Gold to sign with the Washington Capitals.
Chara is one of my all-time favorite players. The man is a class act, a defensive beast, knocks opponents through the boards, and the best part: he’s a Slovak. I finally purchased a Chara Bruins jersey last summer, and naturally they let him go.
It’s unfortunate Chara won’t finish his career with the Spoked-B on his sweater, similar to how it won’t ever look right seeing Tom Brady in the pewter and red. But in our collective mind’s eye, we’ll always associate Brady with the Patriots and Chara with the Bruins.
Chara’s name is forever etched on the Stanley Cup with the Bruins, but it’s his leadership, discipline and devotion to his craft that are forever etched into Black-and-Gold lore. The Bruins went from a middling playoff hopeful to perennial Stanley Cup contenders with Chara as the franchise cornerstone. That’s no coincidence.
The man will be a first-ballot inductee into the Hall of Fame, and he’s already arguably the greatest Slovak to play the game.
I have been a Bruins fan since Kyle started watching hockey, and the author is correct here; the Bruins without Chara aren’t really the Bruins. I despise the Capitals, but I’ll cheer for Chara every single game.