President Zuzana Čaputová presented the state decorations to Chara and 23 other recipients on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the establishment of the independent Slovak Republic.
Chara posted photos from the event on his Instagram account on Monday.
Chara said “Hard to find words to describe my feelings of how proud, honored and grateful I am to receive a National award Rad Ludovita Stura II triedy from Mrs. President of Slovak Republic. I have chills and feeling warm heart at the same time. The memories of this special ceremony will stay with me for rest of my life. Thank you so much.”
The defender is the winner of the Stanley Cup in 2011 and has played 1608 games with 666 points. The 46-year-old also won the Norris Trophy for the best defenseman in the NHL in 2008-09 and is a two-time silver medalist in the World Cup. Chara played for the Washington Capitals last season and it is not yet known whether he will continue his career.
Former NHL forward Pavol Demitra received the Ľudovít Štúr Rad I. class in memoriam. The president praised the hockey player, who died in a plane crash in September 2011 near the Russian city of Yaroslavl. Demitra, who won the bronze medal in the 2003 World Cup, also played in the NHL. He scored 768 points with 304 goals and 464 assists in 847 games with the Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues, Los Angelas Kings, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks.
By Jon Sorensen