Chara’s Curtain Call?
Slovakien native, Zdeno Chara signed a one year deal with the National Hockey League's New York Islanders Organization this past week. Previously, Chara had one year contracts with both the Washington Capitals for the 2020-2021 season and the Boston Bruins. These contracts were for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 seasons. The 6-foot-9 defensemen is best known for donning the captain's ``C” for a lengthy fourteen years in Bostons’ black and gold.
Beloved by fans from Boston, Washington, Ottawa, and New York alike, Chara has been a strong presence in the NHL for twenty four years. A mere two days after being eliminated by his former team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season, Chara told the Washington D.C. media,“As far as myself and my future, I’m going to take a few days to talk to my family and make decisions after. I have to have a conversation with my wife and children and see where we want to be in the next few days or weeks. After those conversations, I’ll let the emotions settle in and see where I’m at.”
Earlier this month, former NHL forward David Backes signed a one day contract with the St. Louis Blues, who first drafted the rookie in 2003, in order to hang up the skates for the last time with the team that he began his professional hockey career with. Similarly, both commentators and fans speculate that Chara aims to end his career in the same New York jersey in which it began, and have one last chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup just as he did a decade ago with the Bruins.
Questions remain surrounding the motive for Chara’s return to the team to which he was first drafted in 1996, but the oldest active player in the NHL told interviewers, "It's kind of full circle, who would know that this would kind of work out the way it did after 20-some years?" Zdeno Chara is yet to address the rumors surrounding his retirement, giving his supporters hope for “Big Z '' to bring the cup home once again.