Zdeno Chara will reach quite the milestone when he takes the ice Tuesday night.
The Boston Bruins defenseman and captain will play in his 1,500th career game against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. Chara will become the 21st player and sixth defenseman to accomplish the feat. He joins Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Scott Stevens, Larry Murphy and Ray Bourque.
Chara has earned the respect of his teammates, coaches and opponents throughout his 22-year career in the NHL, and was recognized by some notable names ahead of Tuesday’s Bruins game.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Alex Ovechkin, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf, Mark Giordano, Steven Stamkos, Shea Weber, Anze Kopitar and Roman Josi — all NHL captains of their respective teams — gave Chara a shutout before the milestone becomes official in a video from the Bruins’ Twitter account that began with the defenseman’s first NHL goal.
“Hey Big Zee, congrats on your big milestone,” Washington Capitals captain Ovechkin said. “It’s a big number. I wish you the best of luck. … Take it easy on the corners, man. You’re tough to play against. But it’s fun.”
“… You’re one of the best in the game,” Chicago Blackhawks captain Toews said. “A great leader. Your commitment, your preparation off the ice, as everyone knows, is unheard of. … All the other captains, leaders in the league, we look up to guys like you. You’re the one carving the path for us.”
Check out the video (with some memorable Chara highlights) in its entirety below:
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images