Photo: John McDonnell/The Washington Post
It was the signing no one saw coming. On Wednesday, the Washington Capitals announced they signed unrestricted free-agent defenseman Zdeno Chara to a one-year contract worth $795,000. Following the news, a few Capitals players tweeted they are looking forward to going to battle with Chara instead of against him.
“Looking forward to not doing this anymore! At least not in games,” forward T.J. Oshie said this evening, adding, “Welcome to DC Big Z!!!” Forward Tom Wilson replied to Oshie’s tweet, “What he said.”
What he said ^ pic.twitter.com/T1b4ojh0Y0
— Tom Wilson (@tom_wilso) December 31, 2020
Chara took offense to the hit Wilson made on him during the December 11, 2019, game when the Capitals hosted the Bruins. Wilson and Chara dropped the gloves in this heavyweight fight.
Later on, fellow defenseman Brenden Dillon expressed his excitement for Chara sporting a red Capitals sweater not too long from now.
I guess we ll have to continue this convo in the locker room? 😂
Can’t wait to go to battle with you and not against you anymore Big Z! Welcome to the Caps 🦅 pic.twitter.com/HFcYzBjVDj
— Brenden Dillon (@BDillon04) December 31, 2020
Capitals legend and fellow Slovakian Peter Bondra offered-up Big Z accommodations. The two were teammates for the National team for the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.
— Peter Bondra (@PeterBondra12) December 30, 2020
Whether Chara will join the lineup is still to be determined as the team has three left-handed defensemen (Dillon, Dmitry Orlov, and Jonas Siegenthaler) all projected to be on the roster. Nearly 20 teams (two-thirds of the NHL) recently called Chara’s agent to inquire about his availability, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli.
After spending 14 seasons with the club, Chara will return to TD Garden as a member of the Capitals when they clash with the Bruins on Wednesday, March 3 – the third of eight matchups in the realigned divisions and the first trip of the 56-game regular season to Boston.
By Della Young