Zdeno Chara made NHL history as a member of the New York Islanders, but his impact on the Boston Bruins was clear as his former teammates and other franchise personnel sent congratulatory messages to the defenseman in a tribute video Thursday night.
Chara on Thursday set an NHL record by skating in his 1,652nd career game — the most for any NHL defenseman. The bulk of those games were spent with the Bruins, as he appeared in 1,023 games for Boston between 2006 and 2020.
Several of Chara’s former teammates appeared in the video put together by the Bruins.
Patrice Bergeron opened the video with a message to the star:
“Hey, Zee, congratulations on beating the most games played by a defenseman record. That’s an amazing accomplishment. I’m so proud of you. I’m not surprised that you’re still doing this at such a high level. Your dedication, your perseverance, your competitiveness is unmatched and I’m so proud of you again. Congratulations. I hope you had a good one and you enjoy this accomplishment because it’s very special.”
Brad Marchand also made an appearance in the video:
“Hey Zee. Just want to wish you a huge congratulations bud. Not surprised at all that you were able to accomplish this goal. It was truly an honor to play with you and be your teammate. I learned so much from you along the way and again, so happy for everything you’ve been able to accomplish. watching you as a teammate, I have a whole new understanding and appreciation for the way that you’ve earned what you’ve accomplished. I’m extremely happy for you bud. There’s no one else that deserves it more, to have your name at the top of that list. So congrats again.”
Charlie McAvoy rounded out the current players who spoke:
“Hey Zee, just wanted to congratulate you on the most games played by a defenseman in NHL history. What an incredible accomplishment. I’m so happy for you. What you’ve done throughout your career is just incredible and I feel so lucky to have been able to play with you, to witness what you’re doing still and the level that you’re doing it at, it truly is amazing. You’re an amazing person. I’m so grateful for our friendship, to have called you my friend and my teammate and I just want to wish you the best going forward. I love you brother.”
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, chief executive officer Charlie Jacobs and president Cam Neely also shared messages in the video.