Timeline: Looking back at Zdeno Chara’s Bruins’ career

After 14 seasons serving as the team’s captain, Zdeno Chara is moving on.

Matthew J. Lee
Zdeno Chara hoisted the Stanley Cup Trophy before a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium in 2011.

After 14 seasons serving as the team’s captain, Zdeno Chara is no longer with the Bruins.

The big defenseman came to Boston as a free agent in 2006 after playing eight seasons with the New York Islanders and Ottawa Senators, and led the franchise to three Stanley Cup finals, including the 2011 championship run.

On Wednesday, it was reported that Chara would be joining the Washington Capitals.


Here’s a look at Chara’s NHL career.

June 22, 1996: Drafted by the New York Islanders

Selected in the third round, Chara is drafted 56th overall.

Nov. 19, 1997: Makes NHL debut against Detroit

Splits the 1997-98 season between the Islanders and their AHL affiliate in Kentucky.

Jan. 29, 1999: Scores first NHL goal vs. Coyotes


Splits the 1998-99 season between the Islanders and their AHL affiliate in Lowell.

June 23, 2001: Traded to Ottawa Senators

He is shipped by the Islanders with Bill Muckalt and a 2001 first round draft pick (Jason Spezza) for Alexei Yashin.

June 10, 2004: Named First-Team NHL All-star

Also finished runner up for the Norris Trophy, given to the league’s top defenseman.

July 1, 2006: Leaves the Ottawa Senators and signs contract with the Bruins


The deal is for five years, $37.5 million.

Oct. 3, 2006: Named 19th captain in team history

The announcement was made by general manager Peter Chiarelli ad coach Dave Lewis.

Jan. 24, 2007: Scores two goals in NHL All-Star game

It was his first appearance in the game as a Bruin, and second of his career.

Feb. 28, 2009: Scored his 100th goal


Chara would finish the 2008-09 season with a career-high 19 goals

June 18, 2009: Wins Norris Trophy after 50-point season

He beats out six-time winner Nicklas Lidstrom and Mike Green.

Oct. 10, 2010: Heading into the final year of his contract, signs an extension

Chara agrees to the seven year, $45.5 million deal as the Bruins were set to open the season in Prague.

Jan. 17, 2011: Scores a hat trick


The accomplishment comes in his 893rd game, a 7-0 win over the Hurricanes.

June 15, 2011: Captains the Bruins to the Stanley Cup title

Chara played his 100th career playoff game in the Game 7 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

June 22, 2011: Wins the Mark Messier Leadership Award

The award is given “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season.”

Jan. 28-29, 2012: Sets record for fastest shot and serves as the captain at the NHL All-Star Game

Chara blistered and 108.8 mph slap shot in the skills competition. The next day he would score the game-winning goal and finish with a plus-7.

Feb. 7, 2014: Serves as Slovakia’s flag bearer for the 2014 Olympics

He represented Slovakia in seven World Championships and three Olympics, serving as the captain in 2010 and 2014.

June 24, 2014: Named to the NHL First All-Star Team

It is the third time in his career, and second with the Bruins. He was also named to the second team four times.

March 28, 2018: Signs a one-year extension to remain with the Bruins

The deal was for $5 million and was reached before the playoffs as Chara elected to not test free agency.

March 23, 2019: Signs a one-year extension with the Bruins

Choosing not to enter free agency again, Chara’s deal is for $2 million.

Later that day, he scores the 200th goal of his career in a 7-3 win over the Panthers.

June 6, 2019: Plays Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final with a broken jaw

Just days after sustaining the injury in Game 4, Chara is back on the ice and would play Games 5-7 with a broken jaw.

June 12, 2019: Plays in his 14th Game 7, the most by any player in NHL history.

Nov. 5, 2019: Reached 1,500 games played in a loss at Montreal

He became the 21st player and sixth defenseman to reach the milestone

Jan. 13, 2020: Plays in his 1,000th game as a member of the Bruins

The achievement comes on the road in a 6-5 loss to the Flyers.

Aug. 31, 2020: Chara plays his last game as a Bruin

The Bruins are eliminated from the 2020 Stanley Cup playoff, staged in a bubble format in Canada amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dec. 30, 2020: Chara announces he is moving on

News of his deal with the Capitals is released shortly after he announces the Bruins’ decision to move forward without him on Instagram.