Chara signs with Capitals after 14 seasons with Bruins
Chara posted a heartfelt farewell to Boston on his Instagram and revealed the Bruins initiated the divorce.
"The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision," he said. "Unfortunately, my time as the proud captain of the Bruins has come to an end."
Chara initially signed with the Bruins on a five-year, $37.5-million contract as a free agent in 2006. The deal is widely considered one of the best free-agent signings of all time.
The towering 6-foot-9 rearguard was immediately named Boston's captain during his first season and won the Norris Trophy three years later as the league's top defenseman. He then captained the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in 2011 and made two more finals appearances in 2013 and 2019.
During his 14 seasons in Boston, Chara was a two-time first-team All-Star and a three-time second-team All-Star. He sits sixth on the Bruins' all-time games played list and third among defensemen, trailing only Ray Bourque and Don Sweeney - Boston's current general manager.
The 43-year-old played in 68 games with the Bruins last season, recording five goals, nine assists, 101 blocks, and 78 hits while averaging 21:01 per contest. The underlying numbers aren't friendly to him offensively, but he can still help in the defensive zone, as outlined by HockeyViz's Micah Blake McCurdy:
Even with Michal Kempny recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, the Capitals still have eight NHL-caliber defensemen. Here's a look at the projected depth chart:
|Brenden Dillon||John Carlson|
|Dmitry Orlov||Justin Schultz|
|Zdeno Chara||Nick Jensen|
|Jonas Siegenthaler||Trevor van Riemsdyk|
The Capitals and Bruins are scheduled to play each other eight times this season, with the first meeting coming Jan. 30 in Washington. Chara will make his return to Boston on March 3.