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Zdeno Chára, 2007
Born March 18, 1977 (1977-03-18) (age 33),
Trenčín, Czechoslovakia
Height
Weight
6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
255 lb (116 kg; 18 st 3 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team
F. teams
Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators
New York Islanders
Ntl. team  Slovakia
NHL Draft 56th overall, 1996
New York Islanders
Playing career 1997 – present

Zdeno Chára (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈzdeno ˈxaːra]; born March 18, 1977) is a Slovak professional ice hockey defenceman. He is the team captain of the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League (NHL) and won the Norris Trophy whilst playing for them in 2008-09. At 6 ft 9 (2.06 m), he is the tallest player ever to play in the NHL.[1]

Contents

Playing career

Chára was drafted 56th overall by the New York Islanders in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. After four seasons with the Islanders, he was traded to the Ottawa Senators during the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Chára was part of a package deal with Bill Muckalt and the second overall pick in that year's draft (Jason Spezza) that sent Alexei Yashin to New York.

As a Senator for four years, Chára emerged as an elite defenseman in the league and more than doubled his previous offensive totals in his first season with Ottawa. In his second season with the team, 2002–03, Chára made his first All-Star Game appearance and recorded the second hardest shot behind Al MacInnis in the skills competition.[2]

The next season, in addition to posting 16 goals and 41 points, Chára recorded the league's third highest plus/minus, behind Martin St. Louis and Marek Malík, culminating into his first Norris Trophy nomination. Although he would lose to Scott Niedermayer as the league's best defenseman, he would join Niedermayer on the NHL First All-Star Team.

After the 2004–05 NHL lockout, in which Chára played in the Swedish Elitserien for Färjestads BK, he matched his previous NHL season's 16-goal total and increased to 43 points, good enough for NHL Second All-Star Team honours. As Chára did not come to terms on a new contract with Ottawa, he became an unrestricted free agent at the end of 2005–06.

Zdeno Chára (left), former head coach Dave Lewis (center) and Phil Kessel (right) on Columbus Day with the crew of the USS Doyle.

Subsequently, on July 1, 2006, he signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Boston Bruins[3] and was named the team's captain, a role left vacant since Joe Thornton's departure during the 2005–06 season. He became only the third Slovak-born NHL player to become a team captain, after Peter Šťastný of the Quebec Nordiques and Stan Mikita (co-captain) of the Chicago Blackhawks.[4] He was named to the 2007 All-Star Game, his second appearance, in Dallas and scored two goals in an 12–9 Eastern Conference loss. Chára also won the hardest shot segment of the preceding skills competition, clocking a shot at 100.4 mph.[5]

In 2008, he was voted in as a starter in the All-Star Game for the first time in his career and repeated as the winner of the hardest shot competition, recording an even-faster 103.1 mph (166 km/h) on the radar gun.[6] On March 8, 2008, during a game against the Washington Capitals, Chára suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder. However, after missing five games, he played the remainder of the season including the playoffs. Upon a first-round elimination at the hands of the Montreal Canadiens, he underwent a shoulder operation on April 29.[7] At the end of the season, Chára received his second nomination for the Norris Trophy after tallying a career-high 17 goals, 34 assists and 51 points, marking the fifth straight season he had either matched or increased his previous season's points total.

In 2008–09, Chára was named to his fourth All-Star Game.[8] As back-to-back champion of the hardest shot competition, Chára initiated a charity drive among the participants ($1,000 per player) to go to the charity of choice of the competition's winner. Having raised $24,000 from the six competitors and their respective teams, the NHL and the NHLPA, Chára set a new Skills Competition record, with a 105.4 mph (169.7 km/h) slapshot. He donated the winnings to Right to Play. The shot passed Al Iafrate's previous record-making 105.2 mph (169.3 km/h) slapper from just over a decade earlier.[9] He won the Norris Trophy for the 2008–09 season, beating out Mike Green of the Washington Capitals and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings.

Awards

Records

  • NHL All-Star Skills Competition hardest shot record – 105.4 mph, or 169.7 km/h (2009) (surpassed Al Iafrate – 105.2 mph in 1993)

Personal

Zdeno Chára married his long-time girlfriend Tatiana Biskupicová on July 14, 2007, in a Catholic church in Nemšová, Slovakia.[10] Tatiana gave birth to the couple's first child, daughter Elliz Victoria Chára (or Chárová) on April 27, 2009.[citation needed] His father, Zdenek, was a Greco-Roman wrestler who competed for Czechoslovakia in the 1976 Summer Olympics.[11]

Chára is an Athletic Ambassador for Right to Play. In July 2008, he spent two weeks in Africa, going to Mozambique in support of the charity, and then climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with fellow NHL player Robyn Regehr.[12][13]

Chára speaks five languages: Slovak, Swedish, Russian, German, and English.[14]

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1996–97 Prince George Cougars WHL 49 3 19 22 120 15 1 7 8 45
1997–98 Kentucky Thoroughblades AHL 48 4 9 13 125 1 0 0 0 4
1997–98 New York Islanders NHL 25 0 1 1 50
1998–99 Lowell Lock Monsters AHL 23 2 2 4 47
1998–99 New York Islanders NHL 59 2 6 8 83
1999–00 New York Islanders NHL 65 2 9 11 57
2000–01 New York Islanders NHL 82 2 7 9 157
2001–02 HC Dukla Trenčín SVK 8 2 2 4 32
2001–02 Ottawa Senators NHL 75 10 13 23 156 10 0 1 1 12
2002–03 Ottawa Senators NHL 74 9 30 39 116 18 1 6 7 14
2003–04 Ottawa Senators NHL 79 16 25 41 147 7 1 1 2 8
2004–05 Färjestads BK SEL 33 10 15 25 132 13 3 5 8 82
2005–06 Ottawa Senators NHL 71 16 27 43 135 10 1 3 4 23
2006–07 Boston Bruins NHL 80 11 32 43 100
2007–08 Boston Bruins NHL 77 17 34 51 114 7 1 1 2 12
2008–09 Boston Bruins NHL 80 19 31 50 95 11 1 3 4 12
AHL totals 71 6 11 17 172 1 0 0 0 4
NHL totals 767 104 215 319 1210 63 5 15 20 81

International play

Chara playing in the 2010 Winter Olympics, where Slovakia finished fourth.

Chára has played for Slovakia in the following international competitions:

See also

References

  1. ^ Wigge, Larry (2003). "Chara towers over NHL All-Stars". NHL.com. http://www.nhl.com/columns/wigge/chara020103.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  2. ^ "MacInnis has still got NHL's hardest shot". CNN Sports Illustrated. 2003-02-01. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/hockey/2003/all_star/news/2003/02/01/closer_look/. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  3. ^ "Bruins sign Chara to five-year deal". ESPN. 2006-07-01. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2506763. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  4. ^ "Chara named Bruins captain". Globe and Mail. 2006-10-03. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20061003.wchara3/BNStory/Sports. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  5. ^ "Crosby, East win SuperSkills competition". ESPN. 2007-01-25. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/allstar2007/news/story?id=2740694. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  6. ^ Allen, Kevin (2008). "Ovechkin, Chara dazzle in NHL All-Star prelude". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/hockey/nhl/2008-01-26-all-star-skills_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  7. ^ "Bruins D Chara has shoulder surgery". Yahoo!. 2008-04-30. http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl/news?slug=txbruinschara&prov=st&type=lgns. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  8. ^ "Chara, Thomas and Savard added to all-star team". Boston Globe. 2009-01-09. http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/bruins/articles/2009/01/09/trio_named_all_star_reserves. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  9. ^ "Charitable Chara wins NHL's hardest-shot competition". CBC. 2009-01-24. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/hockey/story/2009/01/24/nhlallstar-competition.html. Retrieved 2009-01-24. 
  10. ^ "Hamill a true surprise pick". Boston Globe. 2007. http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/articles/2007/07/08/hamill_a_true_surprise_pick/?page=full. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  11. ^ Dupont, Kevin Paul (2006). "Perfect fit". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/sports/articles/2006/08/25/perfect_fit/. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  12. ^ Simpson, Rob. "Chara's Challenge: Zee vs. The Mountain". Bruins.com. http://bruins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=368305. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  13. ^ Simpson, Rob. "Bruins, Boots and Blisters". Bruins.com. http://bruins.nhl.com/team/app/?service=page&page=NewsPage&articleid=368389. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  14. ^ Shinzawa, Fluto (2008). "Zdeno Chara -- a big man with a financial planning degree". Providence Journal. http://sportsblog.projo.com/2008/09/zdeno-chara-a-b.html. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Joe Thornton
Boston Bruins captains
2006–present
Incumbent
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Nicklas Lidstrom
Norris Trophy winner
2009
Succeeded by
Incumbent
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