The Bruins of today stand in the shadow of giants. In this particular case, one such giant who had led them for nearly a decade. The erstwhile captain who defended his goaltenders and his teammates with his enormous frame and freakish strength.
Today, that player came back to Boston to sign a contract for a single day.
Saying Chara's acquisition in 2006 changed the Bruins forever is honestly, probably underselling it. There's a good chance that none of the dominance Boston got to experience over the last decade happens without him, both as a leader figure and as a defenseman on the roster just consuming minutes. His play during the latter half of the 2000s and early 2010s was enough to catapult the team back into relevance and into the promised land of cup contention, where they've stayed for years.
Hilariously, the big man was also involved in two separate organizations punting on his value for shortsighted gain in order for Boston to finally land him; which is sort of a footnote in his career, but I personally find it very funny. Thanks, Sens and Islanders!
Chara will finish his career third in team points by defensemen, only bested of course by Bobby Orr and Ray Bourque. He finishes with a boatload of individual accolades: mark messier award, king clancy, six time all star, six time Slovakian player of the year recipient, the Norris trophy.
And of course...the 2011 Stanley Cup, the first captain in 39 long years to hoist it for Boston, higher than anyone else had done before or since.
Zdeno Chara, on behalf of this blog, this city, and everyone else who got to enjoy your time in the NHL, we thank you for an unforgettable and incredible career.
And will of course, look forward to your Hall of Fame speech