Longtime Bruin Zdeno Chara pens emotional goodbye upon joining Capitals

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By , WEEI 93.7

It's the end of an era for the Bruins. Longtime captain Zdeno Chara has announced in a post on Instagram that his Bruins career has come to an end.

A few minutes later, the Washington Capitals announced that they have signed Chara to a one-year deal worth $795,000.

Chara has been the Bruins' captain since he signed with the team as a free agent in 2006. He helped lead the team to a Stanley Cup in 2011, the franchise's first since 1972, and two other finals appearances in 2013 and 2019.

Chara won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman in 2009 and finished top five in voting five other times. The now-43-year-old finishes his Bruins career sixth all-time in games played for the team with 1,023, behind only Ray Bourque, Johnny Bucyk, Patrice Bergeron, Don Sweeney and Wayne Cashman.

In his statement, Chara says the Bruins recently "informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision." Chara said right after the season that he wanted to be back with the Bruins, and his statement suggests this breakup is the Bruins' decision, not his.

With the Capitals in the Bruins' division this season, they will see Chara eight times.

Here is Chara's full statement on Instagram:

My family and I have been so fortunate to call the great city of Boston our home for over 14 years. Recently, The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision. Unfortunately, my time as the proud Captain of the Bruins has come to an end.

I want to first of all thank the passionate and loyal Bruins fans, who shared the ups and downs of each season over the past 14 years. I’m proud that we were able to return the Stanley Cup to Boston and celebrating with all of you, in Boston, New England, and around the world, was a moment I will never forget. You all have treated my family and me as one of your own and I will always be grateful. Thank you.

I would also like to thank all of the Bruins staff. The trainers, equipment staff, medical staff (all doctors, dentists and therapists), PR and hockey operations, the front office staff, arena staff, security and everyone who helped make the past 14 years so memorable. While there are too many names to mention, please know how sincerely grateful I am to each of you.

I want to thank the Jacobs family for the opportunity to represent the Bruins as their Captain. I am grateful and proud of everything we accomplished.

To all of my teammates throughout the years in Boston, I am so lucky to have a lifetime of memories that I will never forget. From the highest highs to the lowest lows, we were always a team, we were always there for each other and those bonds and friendships will never be forgotten.

My family and I will always cherish the strong friendships and connections we made here. From the beginning in 2006, we have been embraced by this community and made to feel welcome. We will always be grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the community and for the people who always supported me and my family.

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.

Thank you.

Zee

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