Zdeno Chara Retiring from NHL After 25 Seasons; Will Sign 1-Day Contract with Bruins

Adam WellsSeptember 20, 2022

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 07: Zdeno Chara #33 of the New York Islanders skates in warm-ups prior to the preseason game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on October 07, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Zdeno Chara's 25-year NHL career will come to an end Tuesday.

Chara announced on Instagram he will sign a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins to officially retire with the team he spent the bulk of his career playing for.

Conor Ryan @ConorRyan_93

Zdeno Chara announces on Instagram that he is retiring after 25 seasons in the NHL. <br><br>He is signing a one-day contract to officially retire as a Boston Bruin. <a href="https://t.co/NtOujBkUPl">pic.twitter.com/NtOujBkUPl</a>

Amid speculation about his future early in the offseason, Chara's agent, Matt Keator, told Matt Porter of the Boston Globe in June the 45-year-old was "going to take the summer with his family and assess where he's at physically, where his family's at, and make a decision in September."

A third-round draft pick by the New York Islanders in 1996, Chara made his NHL debut in 1997. He played for four different teams: the Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Bruins and Washington Capitals.

Chara was one of the best defensemen of his era. He made six All-Star appearances from 2003 to 2012, won the Norris Trophy in 2009 and won a Stanley Cup title with the Bruins in 2011.

After he spent 14 seasons in Boston from 2006 to 2020, the team informed him in his last year that he would not be re-signed. Chara decided to continue his playing career by signing a one-year contract with the Capitals.

However, he wasn't much of a factor with 10 points in 55 games. It was his lowest-scoring season since putting up nine points in 2000-01 with the Islanders.

The Isles brought Chara back on a one-year deal for the 2021-22 season.

Chara was named to the NHL's All-Decade second team for the 2010s. Dom Luszczyszyn of The Athletic wrote this about the Slovakian star when he was named to the outlet's All-Decade squad:

"His career high of 52 points did come in 2011-12, but that's not what puts Chara in this elite company. It was his innate ability to completely shut down opponents using his long stick, smart positioning and knowing how to toe the line. He was a problem other teams had to solve, and it led to the Bruins scoring 57 percent of the 5-on-5 goals while he was on the ice in the 2010's, a mark unmatched by any of the other five defenders listed here."

Chara's history as a defenseman who is capable of scoring made him an intimidating presence on the ice for more than two decades. He will almost certainly be inducted into the Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible.