As we got closer and closer to training camp, many thought it was a matter of when, not if, the Bruins would announce a new contract for Zdeno Chara.
Instead, Chara himself confirmed this afternoon that his time as a Boston Bruin is over.
In a lengthy post on his Instagram account that featured a video montage from his 14 years in Boston, Chara said that it was the Bruins’ decision to not bring him back for one more year.
From the post (emphasis ours):
My family and I have been so fortunate to call the great city of Boston our home for over 14 years. Recently, The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision. Unfortunately, my time as the proud Captain of the Bruins has come to an end.
It’s not exactly a shock that Chara won’t be suiting up for the Bruins next season, but it’s pretty shocking that it was the Bruins who decided they didn’t want Chara in the mix.
Most people assumed that if Chara didn’t come back, it would be because he retired or he wanted to have one more season with a different franchise.
Around the same time Chara made his post on Instagram, the Washington Capitals announced that they signed the former Boston captain to a one-year deal worth $795,000.
OFFICIAL! BIG Z TO DC!— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 30, 2020
The Washington Capitals have agreed to terms with defenseman Zdeno Chara to a one-year, $795,000 contract.
Full Details: https://t.co/1Pqb61mP5q#ALLCAPS pic.twitter.com/Ad50bX7LvA
Yes, you read that correctly: $795,000.
From Chara’s perspective, it makes sense: he’s made plenty of money in his career, and a lesser role with the Caps gives him a decent shot at one more serious Cup run.
From a Bruins’ perspective, I have no no idea what they’re thinking.