PRAGUE, CZE – Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the club has signed defenseman Zdeno Chara to a seven-year contract extension through the 2017-18 season. Per club policy, financial terms of the deal will not be disclosed. Chiarelli and Chara will be available to the media in Prague following Saturday’s season opener against the Phoenix Coyotes.
The 33-year-old defenseman is entering his 13th NHL season and his fifth with the Boston Bruins. Signed by the Bruins as a free agent on July 1, 2006, Chara was named the 18th captain in Bruins history prior to the start of the 06-07 season on October 3, 2006 and has served as the club’s captain since. He captured the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman following the 2008-09 season after recording 19 goals, 31 assists and 95 penalty minutes in 80 games. This marked Chara’s first Norris Trophy of his career and the third time he had been named a Norris Trophy finalist (2004 with Ottawa, 2008, 2009 with Boston).
He established at least one career high in the major offensive categories in each of the last three seasons, as he had a career best 51 points in 07-08, a career best 19 goals in 08-09 and a career best 37 assists in 09-10. He has missed only 11 games in his four-year stint with the Black & Gold, playing in 317 out of a possible 328 games.
Last year, Chara led the team in plus/minus with +19 and led all B’s defensemen in scoring with 44 points (seven goals, 37 assists). He skated in 13 postseason games and added two goals and five assists.
Selected by the New York Islanders in the third round (56th overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, he played four NHL seasons with the Isles before being traded to the Ottawa Senators in 2001 for a first round draft pick and Alexei Yashin. The defensemen spent four seasons with Ottawa before being signed by Boston.
Chara has played in four NHL All-Star games (2003, 2007, 2008 and 2009), been named a NHL First All Star twice (2004, 2009), a NHL Second All Star twice (2006, 2008), owns the NHL Skills Competition record for hardest slap shot (105.4 MPH, 2009), and has represented Team Slovakia in the last two Olympics (2006, 2010). At 6'9'', the Trencin, Slovakia native is the tallest player in NHL history.
In Chara’s 12 NHL seasons he has skated in 847 regular season games recording 111 goals and 252 assists (363 points), and collected seven goals, 20 assists and 27 points in 76 postseason contests.