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Zdeno Chara leaves Bruins after 14 seasons, signs 1-year deal with Capitals

Zdeno Chara leaves Bruins after 14 seasons, signs 1-year deal with Capitals
Former Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara will earn $795,000 this season with the Washington Capitals. File Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 30 (UPI) -- All-Star defenseman Zdeno Chara is leaving the Boston Bruins after 14 seasons and signing a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals.

The Capitals announced Wednesday that the 43-year-old Chara will earn $795,000 this season with Washington. The veteran defender said the Bruins opted to go in a different direction and parted ways with him.

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"The Boston Bruins informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision," Chara wrote on social media. "Unfortunately, my time as the proud captain of the Bruins has come to an end.

"... As I begin this next chapter, I want the people of Boston to know how proud I was to be a Bruin and how grateful I am for all of the support over the years. 'Thank you' does not seem adequate to express my sincere gratitude. I will always be a Bruin. I will always love Boston."

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Chara, the longtime captain of the Bruins, played 1,023 games in Boston after arriving as a free agent in July 2006. He recorded 148 goals and 333 assists and captained three Bruins teams to the Stanley Cup Final, winning the championship in 2011.

The 6-foot-9 defenseman has been a five-time finalist for the Norris Trophy in his career and won the award once in the 2008-09 season.

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Chara joins a Capitals team that has lost in the opening round of the playoffs in two consecutive seasons after winning the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history in 2018.

"We are extremely pleased to have Zdeno join the Capitals organization," Capitals senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan said. "We feel his experience and leadership will strengthen our blue line and our team."

In 22 NHL seasons between the New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Bruins, Chara has appeared in 1,553 games and notched 205 goals and 451 assists.

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