BOSTON -- Zdeno Chara is returning to the Boston Bruins -- at least for one day. Chara signed a one-day contract with the team on Tuesday and retired as a member of the team he captained for 14 seasons.
Chara made the announcement on his Instagram account Tuesday morning, and then signed on the dotted line at TD Garden in the afternoon.
Chara got a chuckle from the language in the contract.
"Zdeno must agree to keep himself in good shape and physical condition at all times post-retirement," Chara relayed.
"Not much of a challenge for you, is it?," Bruins GM Don Sweeney replied.
Several of Chara's former Boston teammates were in attendance for the special occasion. He said that he and his family will remain in Boston.
"My family and I are proud to call Boston our home," Chara said. "It's the team and city that we hold close to our heart."
Chara played 14 of his 24 NHL seasons with the Bruins. He was named team captain after signing a five-year, $37.5 million contract with Boston in 2006, and immediately changed the culture of the franchise upon his arrival. The Bruins made the playoffs in 11 of his 14 seasons with the team, and won a Stanley Cup in 2011 with the 6-foot-9 behemoth fronting the team's defense. Boston made two other Cup Finals during Chara's tenure, in 2013 and 2019.
Chara ranks first among the Bruins in games played (1,023), plus-minus rating (+240), penalty minutes (1,055), and time on ice per game (24:29). Big Z finished his Boston career with 148 goals and 333 assists for 481 points.
Last February, as a member of the New York Islanders, Chara set the NHL record for games played by a defenseman at 1,652 games. He's also the tallest player to ever suit up in the NHL.
Chances are Chara's No. 33 will be lifted to the rafters at TD Garden sometime in the near future.
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