Before Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes, the Boston Bruins honored team captain Zdeno Chara. In recent weeks Chara managed to rack up two milestones: 1500 games played as well as 1000 games played as a Boston Bruin.
Love all around
The pregame ceremony led by Bruins announcer Andy Brickly was held right in front of the Bruins bench where all of Z's teammates and coaches were present. Chara’s wife Tatiana, his daughter Elliz, and his twin sons Zack and Ben were also present on the ice. Bruins assistant captains, and long time teammates, Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand gifted Chara with a watch, a picture of Chara noting his achievements and a painting of Chara that showed him in the Bruins home jersey, winter classic jersey, and the 2011 Stanley Cup edition jersey.
A video package was also shown on the big screen. The package consisted of other team captains around the league congratulating Chara for his milestones. Notable players included in the video were Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews, Tampa Bay Lightning team captain Steven Stamkos, and Washington Capitols team captain Alexander Ovechkin. Most players also recognized that Chara is a great example of a team captain and that they look up to him as fellow captains themselves.
Time well spent
Zdeno Chara has earned every bit of pre game ceremonial recognition that hes gotten so far in his career, and will continue to get in the hockey community. Chara is the longest tenured captain in Bruins history, and currently the longest tenured captain in the NHL right now. He's got a list of accomplishments that is hard to match for any average joe in the NHL. A list that won’t be matched by somebody who doesn't ever make the Hockey Hall of Fame, because that's where Zdeno Chara is headed. Heres a fraction of the list:
Six time NHL All Star
Three time NHL All Star First team
Four time NHL All Star Second team
Six time James Norris Memorial Trophy winner
Tallest player in NHL history
Those are just a few of the things that will eventually make it on to a plaque under the name of Zdeno Chara in the Hockey Hall of Fame someday. Aside from the statistical side of things, Zdeno Chara is one of the most respectable players on the ice just from the way he plays the game. Physically, smart, and he honors the game by playing the game the way it’s meant to be played.
One big thing that I've always loved about Zdeno Chara is the fact that if he really wanted to, he could put some serious hurt on just about anybody that he might want to because of his size advantage over every other player in the league. But the only time Chara drops the gloves or puts a hit on somebody is when it’s absolutely necessary. To put an opposing teams player in his place, or to stick up for a teammate. The respect that comes from number 33 in the black and gold is unmatched every night.
Credit to chowderandchampions.com for the featured image.