The New York Islanders have signed free-agent defenceman Zdeno Chara to a one-year contract, returning to the team that drafted him after a lengthy career elsewhere. No financial terms have been reported yet. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes was the first to report the deal.
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) September 18, 2021
New York Islanders Sign Zdeno Chara
Over his 23-year NHL career, Chara has played for the New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, and Washington Capitals. He has put up 207 goals and 459 assists for 666 career points in 1,608 career games. The Islanders originally drafted him in the third round, 56th overall of the 1996 NHL Draft.
Last season, he scored two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 55 games. He also added 44 penalty minutes in his first season with the Capitals. His possession numbers were 44.3 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of -8.5.
Chara has made six All-Star Games and been a First Team All-Star three times. The Slovakian legend won the Norris Trophy in 2009 and was a key cog of the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup victory. He’s also won a pair of IIHF World Championship silver medals for his home country and helped Team Europe to silver at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
What This Means for the Future
The 44-year-old has had a long and storied career in the NHL. He’s likely going to be a Hall of Famer when he finally does retire. However, he believes he’s got some hockey left in him. That was the reason he left the Bruins in the last offseason.
Boston wanted him to take a reduced role, but he felt he could help a contending team like Washington. Chara showed at times that he could still be physical, but, at 44 years of age, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll still be an impact player.
He won’t be counted on for goals, but he’s still a tough player that can throw his weight around and drop the gloves if he has to. The Slovak also has a nasty shot that’s been one of the hardest in the league several times running.