Zdeno Chara announces retirement after 24 NHL seasons

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Zdeno Chara spent 24 seasons in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup in 2011 and the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in 2009. (Reuters)
Zdeno Chara spent 24 seasons in the NHL, winning a Stanley Cup in 2011 and the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in 2009. (Reuters)

Longtime NHL defenseman Zdeno Chara has announced his retirement from hockey after 24 seasons.

Chara will sign a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday to retire as a Bruin, where he spent 14 seasons and captained the team to a Stanley Cup in 2011.

"I am honored to return to TD Garden today to sign a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins and officially finish my career with the team that has meant so much to me and my family," he said on Instagram.

The 45-year-old played 1,680 career NHL games — a record for defensemen — scoring 209 goals and registering 471 assists for 680 points, while also accumulating 2,085 penalty minutes. Chara was selected by the New York Islanders with the 56th overall pick of the 1996 NHL Draft, breaking in to the league in the 1997-98 season.

The 6-foot-9 blueliner split 24 seasons between the Ottawa Senators, Washington Capitals, Bruins and Islanders. He spent last season in Long Island, registering 14 points in 72 games.

Chara was selected to six All-Star games and was awarded the Norris Trophy as the league's top defenseman in 2009. He also won the NHL's hardest shot competition on five occasions.

The Trenčin, Czechoslovakia native represented Slovakia in international competition 14 times, leading them to silver medals at the 2000 and 2012 World Championships. He was a six-time Slovak Player of the Year.

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