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Zdeno Chara Leaves Bruins, Signs With Washington Capitals

BOSTON (CBS) -- For Bruins fans, 2020 is ending with a giant shocker. The team is moving on from captain Zdeno Chara, who agreed to a deal with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Chara, 43, said numerous times over the offseason that returning to Boston was his priority. But apparently the Bruins didn't feel the same way, letting their long-time captain go via free agency.

Big Zee said farewell to Boston in a lengthy Instagram post Wednesday afternoon.

"My family and I have been so fortunate to call the great city of Boston our home for over 14 years. Recently, The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision. Unfortunately, my time as the proud Captain of the Bruins has come to an end," Chara wrote.

Shortly after, the Capitals announced that they had signed Chara to a one-year, $795,000 contract. That one is not going to sit well with Bruins fans.

Chara's career with the Bruins will certainly go down as one of the best with the team. From 2006 to 2020, he was a durable top-line defender on the ice and a great leader off it. He played 1,023 games with Boston during regular season action, and his 149 playoff games with the B's is second in team history behind only Ray Bourque.

He won the Norris Trophy in 2008-09 as the league's top defenseman, but it was the trophy that he brought to Boston a few years later that really cements his spot in Boston sports history. In 2011, Chara helped lead Boston to the franchise's first Stanley Cup in 39 years. It was an incredible postseason run that saw Boston win three different Game 7s.

Zdeno Chara
Zdeno Chara hoists the Stanley Cup. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Bruins made the Stanley Cup Final two other times during Chara's tenure with the team, falling just short in 2013 and 2019. Chara played the final three games of the Stanley Cup Final in 2019 with a broken jaw.

In 68 games last season, Chara scored five goals and had 14 points for Boston. He made a $2 million base salary that included incentives, which was a significant drop in salary. Chara was open to coming back to Boston on short money again in 2021, but the Bruins opted to move on instead.

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