Washington Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara played in his 1600th NHL game Saturday night against the Islanders in New York. He is the thirteenth player in NHL history to reach the 1,600-games milestone.
It has been an honor for all of us to have you on the team this year, Zee.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) April 24, 2021
Chara is the fifth defenseman in NHL history to reach the milestone, joining Chris Chelios (1,651), Scott Stevens (1,635), Larry Murphy (1,615) and Ray Bourque (1,612) among defensemen who have played 1,600 games in their NHL careers.
The New York Islanders drafted Chara in the third round (56th pick overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. He made his debut with the Islanders during the 1997-98 season and played in the Islanders organization through the 2000-01 season. Chara was then traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2001 in a deal that sent Alexei Yashin to the Islanders.
Chara played for the Ottawa Senators from 2001-02 though 2005-06. He signed as a free agent with the Boston Bruins, playing with them from 2006-07 through 2019-20, and served as their Captain for his entire tenure with the Bruins. Chara signed a one-year deal with the Capitals on December 30, 2020, for the 2020-21 season.
For his career, Chara has played 231 games in four seasons for the Islanders, 299 games in four seasons with the Ottawa Senators, and 1,023 games in 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins. Prior to Saturday, he played in 46 games for the Caps.
Chara is currently the oldest player in the NHL at age 44 and the last remaining member of his draft class still playing in the NHL. He is also the tallest player in NHL history at 6’9”.
Chara won the Norris Trophy for Best NHL Defenseman for the 2008-09 season. During his tenure with the Bruins, they were Stanley Cup Champions for the 2010-11 season and made two more appearances in the Stanley Cup Finals for the 2013-14 and 2018-19 seasons.
Congratulations, Zdeno, on your milestone, a tribute to amazing endurance and great work ethic.
By Diane Doyle
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