Zdeno Chara announced that after 14 seasons he is leaving the Boston Bruins and signing a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals. The 43-year-old defenseman said the team notified him that he was not in their future plans, leading to the latest breakup between a notable Boston sports athlete and his team.
Chara made the announcement in an Instagram video where he thanked the city of Boston and Bruins fans for the support during his tenure as a player, and later a team captain.
The defenseman joined the Bruins at 29 years old prior to the 2006-07 season. Chara would go on to play 1,023 games for Boston, scoring 148 goals, notching 333 assists and developing into one of the most dominant defensive forces in the league. He was a five-time finalist for the Norris Trophy, winning it in the 2008-09 season, and captained three Bruins teams to the Stanley Cup Final, winning it in the 2010-11 season. He leaves the franchise as the longest-tenured captain in the league.
Chara now joins a Washington team that has only sniffed the first round of the postseason over the last two seasons after exorcising the franchise's demons in 2017 to win the Stanley Cup. His contract is worth $795,000, according to the Caps.
"We are extremely pleased to have Zdeno join the Capitals organization," said senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan said in a press release. "We feel his experience and leadership will strengthen our blueline and our team."