Six Memorable Moments From Zdeno Chara’s Time With Bruins

Chara called it quits after a quarter-century in the NHL

by

September 20

Zdeno Chara tied a bow on his incredible NHL career Tuesday when he announced via Instagram he would sign a one-day contract with the Bruins to retire with the team.

Chara joined Boston ahead of the 2006-07 season and immediately became a staple on the blue line and was named captain that season — a title he held his entire 14-year tenure with the B’s. The 6-foot-9 defenseman’s arrival jumpstarted what was an incredible run for not only Chara, but the Bruins.

During his time wearing the eight-spoked B, Chara helped lead the Bruins to 11 playoff appearances, three Eastern Conference championships and a 2011 Stanley Cup championship.

Chara certainly left his mark on the Bruins. Here are a few of our favorite moments:

Lifting the Stanley Cup in 2011
The image of Chara lifting Lord Stanley over his head will forever be one of the most iconic Boston sports photos. He knocked off his hat and nearly toppled over, but after 39 years he helped the Bruins win their first Stanley Cup. They beat the Vancouver Canucks in enemy territory in Game 7 and, as is tradition, the captain was the first one to receive the Cup.

Game 5 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final
Chara breaking his jaw in Game 4 and not missing a game only further proved he would put his body on the line for the game he loves. He returned to the bench during the game and could barely speak ahead of Game 5, but he was on the ice for the following game and received probably the loudest ovation he’s ever heard. The scene of Chara on the ice in a bubble helmet being announced as a starter in a sold-out TD Garden left fans with another iconic — and emotional — moment.

2013 Game 7 overtime win against the Maple Leafs
Patrice Bergeron was the hero of the thrilling comeback win over the Toronto Maple Leafs to move on in the Stanley Cup playoffs, but many may not know that Chara was on the ice for every third period goal and Bergeron’s tally in overtime to end the game. Chara was manning his usual spot at the left point in OT, setting him up to have the best spot in the house to see Bergeron’s goal.

2011 hat trick against the Hurricanes
Being on the defensive side of the puck, Chara didn’t make a ton of noise on offense. But he certainly did Jan. 17, 2011, when he netted a hat trick against the Carolina Hurricanes. His celebration may have been more memorable than the actual hat trick, though. Once he lit the lamp for the third time Chara motioned as if he was taking a hat off his head and threw it into the TD Garden crowd.

Winning the Norris Trophy after the 2008-09 season
Chara only winning one Norris Trophy throughout his career should be a crime, but there was no arguing the fact he deserved it after the 2008-09 season in which he finished with 50 points in 80 games for the Bruins, 11 power play goals and three game-winning goals.

Playing 1,500 games in the NHL
Playing 1,500 games is an impressive feat. Chara was honored for the accomplishment Feb. 8, 2020 with his family on the ice with him for the pregame ceremonies. He was just the sixth defenseman to reach the milestone.

Chara’s 1,500th game came at Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 5, 2019 and received quite the ovation there.

Retired NHL defenseman Zdeno Chara
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