Editor’s note: On Sunday, May 31, at 7 p.m. ET, NESN will be airing “Chara at 1000,” celebrating Zdeno Chara reaching the 1,000 game milestone in a Bruins uniform. In the lead-up to that, we will be remembering Chara’s finest moments in Boston — both on and off the ice. For more stories celebrating Chara, click here.
What hockey player hasn’t dreamed of being where Zdeno Chara was June 15, 2011?
As the Boston Bruins captain skated away from his teammates toward NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the joy and anticipation he was feeling was clear to see. After all, Chara was 34 years old, had just wrapped up his 13th NHL season (and fifth in Boston) and was seconds away from receiving the sport’s biggest prize on behalf of the Bruins.
The Bruins’ 4-0 win over the Canucks in Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final was a crowning achievement for a Bruins franchise that hadn’t won an NHL championship in 39 years. It was as well for Chara, a player who worked his way from Slovakia to the NHL, where he would achieve All-Star status, become a Norris Trophy winner as the league’s best defenseman and finally a Stanley Cup-winning captain.
Can life in hockey be any better than that?
We think not, and that’s why we believe Chara receiving the Stanley Cup from Bettman was his most glorious moment with the Bruins.