The Boston Bruins bid farewell to Zdeno Chara on Wednesday after the defenseman announced via Instagram that the team informed him “that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players.”
“I respect their decision,” Chara added.
Chara, who played 14 years in Boston, signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals.
In a series of statements released to Twitter, various members of the Bruins organization wished the 43-year-old well and thanked him for his contributions.
“It’s been a wonderful fourteen seasons with Zdeno’s talent, leadership and personality,” team owner Jeremy Jacobs wrote. “He played a tremendous and enduring role in the success of the team each and every season he put on a Bruins uniform. Zdeno and his family will always be in the hearts of this team, my family and the entire Boston community. Thank you, Zdeno.”
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 30, 2020
Bruins team president Cam Neely said it was a “pleasure” watching Chara become “one of the greatest players to put on a Black and Gold sweater.”
“Zdeno’s dedication to the game, his teammates and Bruins fans has been everything we could have hoped for in a player and specifically as our captain for 14 years,” Neely wrote. “His achievements — which are too many to list both on and off the ice — will forever be a part of Bruins history.”
Chara is a seven-time All-Star and was a five-time finalist for the Norris trophy, given to the league’s top defenseman. Chara won the award in 2008-09. He helped the Bruins claim the 2011 Stanley Cup.
“In my 30 years with the Bruins organization, I have had the privilege to get to know so many great Bruins legends,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney wrote. “Zdeno Chara’s impact on the city of Boston and the Bruins organization firmly places him among the best of the best of Boston sports icons.
“I personally and professionally want to thank Zdeno for sharing his talents, his leadership, his courage and his will to win! I wish Zdeno and his family the very best with their decision to join another organization at this time. Zdeno and his family will always be a member of the Bruins Family!”
Washington GM Brian MacLellan said the Capitals are “extremely pleased” to welcome Chara.
“We feel his experience and leadership will strengthen our blue line and our team,” MacLellan said.
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