By: Patrick Donnelly | Follow me on Twitter @PatDonn12
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was honored with the Hockey Legacy Award at the Sport Museum’s 18th annual The Tradition ceremony at TD Garden on Wednesday night. Bruins legend Johnny Bucyk presented Chara with the award.
Chara joined Manny Ramirez, Michelle Kwan, Paul Silas, Matt Light, and Ben Crenshaw as the other honorees at this year’s edition of the ceremony. Other sports icons that have been honored at The Tradition include: Bobby Orr, Ted Williams, Larry Bird, Ty Law, Nancy Kerrigan, and more.
The Slovak was drafted 56th-overall by the New York Islanders in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. After spending the first four seasons of his professional career in the Isles organization, Chara was dealt to the Senators as part of a package deal before the 2001-02 campaign.
The 42-year-old spent four seasons with the Sens before signing with Boston as a free agent in 2006, immediately being named captain and helping to lead the team to a Stanley Cup in 2011. With the Bruins, Chara won a Norris Trophy as the NHL’s best defenseman in 2009 as well as the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2011.
On his career, Chara has six NHL All-Star Game selections, is a three-time NHL First Team All-Star, is a four-time NHL Second Team All-Star, and is a six-time Norris Trophy finalist. He is also the oldest defenseman to ever score a goal in the Stanley Cup Final at 42 years and 83 days of age as well as the oldest d-man to score a game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Playoffs at 42 years and 30 days of age.
As the tallest player to ever play in the NHL at 6-foot-9, Chara also holds the record for the hardest shot ever recorded at the NHL All-Star Skills Competition (108.8 mph set in 2012). In 1,506 career NHL games, Chara has 650 points (204g, 446a), 475 of which have come with Boston. So far this season, “Big Zee” has 4-4-8 totals in 21 games.