Slovak New York Islanders defender Zdeno Chara announced his retirement on Facebook on Tuesday at the age of 45.
“After 25 seasons, 1680 regular season games, 200 playoff games and hundreds of international games, I am proud to announce my decision to retire from the NHL,” Chara wrote on Facebook. “In doing so, I am very honored to return to TD Garden today to sign a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins and officially end my career with my team which means so much to me and my family,” added Chara.
“Big Z” spent 14 seasons with the Bruins, with which he lifted the Stanley Cup as captain in 2011. Author of 209 goals and 471 assists during the 2009 regular season, Chara won the Norris Trophy honoring the best defender in the NHL.
In his last NHL encounter wearing the Islanders jersey in April, the Slovakian defender became the fourth oldest player to play an NHL game after Canadian Gordie Howe, American Chris Chelios and Czech Jaromir Jagr.