Zdeno Chara Returns to Boston and Retires as a Bruin

The 45-year old is ending his historic career with the Bruins


Zdeno Chara reveals he's signing one-day contract to retire a Bruin originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

After 24 illustrious NHL seasons, Zdeno Chara is going out on his own terms.

The 45-year-old defenseman signed a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday to retire from the NHL as a member of the organization, he announced on Instagram.

"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," Chara said in his Instagram post. "There are so many people that have helped contribute to my success, including all of you, and I look forward to properly thanking everyone this afternoon.

When he signed the contract, he shared with reporters in the room what it said: "Zdeno must agree to keep himself in good shape and physical condition at all times post-retirement."

Chara had a long list of thank yous at the news conference, including all his former teams and teammates, doctors and coaches, his family and more. But he shared special love for the Bruins and the team he helped lead to the Stanley Cup.

"I wore that crest with an incredible sense of pride," he said.

While Boston Bruins players are supporting Tuukka Rask at least publicly, they're focusing on their quest to go a step farther in the playoffs than they did a year ago with Rask in net.

Chara played in 72 games last season for the New York Islanders, the team that selected him in the 1996 NHL Draft nearly 25 years ago. He didn't commit to playing another season after the 2021-22 campaign, however, and he'll pay special tribute to the Bruins by retiring in Black and Gold.

The Slovakia native spent 14 of his 24 seasons in Boston, amassing 1,023 of his 1,680 career games played with the Original Six franchise. At 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, Chara was a rock on Boston's blue line who helped guide the Bruins to a Stanley Cup championship in 2011 in addition to 11 postseason appearances. He finishes his career with the most games played by any defenseman in NHL history.

Chara was spotted at the Bruins' practice facility last week, presumably to catch up with old friends like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Krejci. But it sounds like he and the B's came to an agreement that will allow him to put on a Bruins sweater one last time before calling it quits.

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