Zdeno Chara ‘Very Grateful’ After Breaking Chris Chelios’ NHL Record

Chara stands alone


February 25

Zdeno Chara made NHL history Thursday night, and acknowledged he’s fortunate to have been able to do so.

The New York Islanders blueliner broke Chris Chelios’ record of games played by a defenseman when he took the ice against the San Jose Sharks. It was Chara’s 1,652nd game.

Chara had 16:26 of ice time in the Islanders’ 4-3 shootout loss, and even dropped the gloves with Jeffrey Viel in the second period.

The 44-year-old felt the love from his former Boston Bruins teammates, and had a lot to be grateful for after his historic night.

“It’s such an honor and privilege to be in the same group as many great defensemen, but obviously passing Chris, he’s set such a high standard for many of us and many generations,” Chara told reporters, per the Islanders. “It’s been very inspiring and a huge motivation, and I want to thank him for that, because he was a tremendous player, an amazing leader and he’s such a legend.

“I’m very grateful, and I’ve been very lucky to have had many great teammates, coaches, trainers, friends,” he continued. “But none of that is more important than the support of my wife and my children. I wouldn’t be sitting here if it weren’t for them allowing me to still play the game and do what I do and help my teammates every night.”

Chara has quite the impressive résumé that includes a Stanley Cup in 2011, when he was captain of the Bruins and a 2009 James Norris Memorial Trophy winner.

Thumbnail photo via Darren Yamashita/USA TODAY Sports Images
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