It's done and in the books. The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Zdeno Chara to a one-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season worth $5 million, plus an additional $1.75 million in performance-based bonus.
General manager Don Sweeney and Chara himself will hold a press conference later today to discuss the new deal and what it means for the veteran.
Here is the official announcement by the team on their website:
"Chara, who is in his 20th NHL season and 12th season with Boston in 2017-18, has appeared in 68 games this year, recording seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points with a plus-26 rating (T-9th, NHL) while averaging a team-high 23:00 TOI/game.
The 41-year-old defenseman has led the Bruins to a postseason berth in eight of his 11 seasons with the team, including a Stanley Cup Championship in 2010-11. He ranks seventh in franchise history in games played (888), and third in points by a defenseman (452) behind Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506) and Bobby Orr (888).
Chara, who is the second-oldest active player in the league, is also the longest-tenured captain in the NHL, having worn the "C" for the Bruins since his first season in Boston in 2006-07. Standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 250 pounds, he is also the tallest player to ever play in the NHL. Among active NHL players, Chara ranks fifth in games played (1,418), third in plus/minus (plus-244), first in penalty minutes (1,837), tied for second in shorthanded points (35), 11th in shots (3,073), first in time on ice (34,367:29) and 10th in hits (2,150). He also ranks eighth among active players in postseason games played (147), second in postseason plus/minus (plus-34), second in postseason penalty minutes (188), eighth in postseason hits (361) and first in postseason time on ice (3,966:08).
Over his 20-year NHL career, Chara has received several individual accolades. He was awarded the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman in 2008-09, after tallying a career-high 19 goals and 31 assists in 80 games with Boston. He was the recipient of the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2010-11 for his exemplary leadership both on and off the ice. He was named to the NHL First All-Star Team three times (2003-04, 2008-09, 2013-14), the Second All-Star Team four times (2005-06, 2007-08, 2010-11, 2011-12), and was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game five times (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12). He was also the recipient of the Golden Puck as Slovakia's Player of the Year three times (2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12).
Chara has represented his home country of Slovakia in international play on several occasions, including three Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014), in which he has posted one goal and five assists in 17 games. Most recently, he served as alternate captain for Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, notching two goals in six games to help lead the team to a second place finish to Team Canada.
The Trencin, Slovakia native was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the third round (56th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft."
There had been talks on extending the captain for most of the season. Some pundits expected the veteran to be signed for two years, but as the Bruins are in great position for a Stanley Cup run, Chara might be feeling that the time will be right next summer.
He has also suffered a few injuries this year, and it is probably taking a toll on his body.
Bruins fans, how delighted are you with his extension?