Legendary Defenceman Zdeno Chara Retires from NHL after 24 Seasons

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Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara celebrates his goal against the Ottawa Senators during the third period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019, in Ottawa, Ontario. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

Boston, September 20 (TASR) – Slovak ice-hockey player Zdeno Chara on Tuesday announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL) after 24 seasons.

The 45-year-old defenceman announced his decision on Instagram. “After 25 seasons of professional hockey, 1,680 NHL regular season games, 200 Stanley Cup play-off games, and hundreds of international games, I am proud to announce my decision to retire from the National Hockey League,” Chara wrote.

Drafted by the New York Islanders in 1996, Chara spent the first four seasons of his career in the NHL with the club. In June 2001, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators, remaining with the club for four seasons. When he became a free agent in 2006, Chara signed with the Boston Bruins, for which he played for 14 consecutive seasons as the captain of the team. In late stages of his career, the defenceman signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals in December 2020 before rejoining the Islanders in the 2021-22 season, which turned out be his last in the league.

Chara, known around the NHL as ‘Big Z’ for his height of 2.06 metres, making him the tallest individual to skate in the league, finished his career as a member of the Bruins as he signed a one-day contract with the organisation on Tuesday. “I am honored to return to TD Garden … and officially finish my career with the team that has meant so much to me and my family,” he added on Instagram.

The Trencin native played a total of 1,680 games in the NHL, the most ever played by a defenceman in the league, during which he scored 209 goals and notched up 471 assists. In addition, he managed to win the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in the 2010-11 season.