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Zdeno Chara Signs With Washington Capitals [Report]

According to The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell the Washington Capitals have signed Zdeno Chara as an unrestricted free agent.

As now seems to be confirmed by Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston and the Washington Capitals who have tweeted a welcome to the organization, Zdeno Chara is now officially a member of the Washington Capitals. The Hockey News’ Ken Campbell broke the story and it was later confirmed by Johnston that the deal is for one-year and $795K.

Related: Bruins Rumored to Be Interested in Defenseman Hutton Before Chara

This certainly comes as a bit of a surprise considering there was still ongoing talk that the Bruins were the top choice for Chara if he were to return to the NHL this season. But, as the season grew closer and the Bruins seemed to be leaning more towards not re-signing the veteran, it’s hard to say his exit from the Bruins organization is a total shocker.

Chara has played the last 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins and was the team’s captain. He was a free agent this year and speculation was that he wanted to wait to see how the season was going to be formatted before deciding to return. There was talk that a deal between Chara and Boston might not be a certainty.

The money for Chara was likely opened up after Henrik Lundqvist was forced out of next season due to a heart condition and while Chara doesn’t solve the Capitals need in goal, when the Caps invited Craig Anderson to a PTO, perhaps the writing was on the wall that they weren’t going to go out and sign another netminder.

Zdeno Chara Bruins
Zdeno Chara Bruins

Chara took to Instagram on Wednesday to confirm that he was leaving the Bruins. It was not his decision. He wrote:

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.

In the message to fans, he did not mention anything about the Capitals. But, as the team itself has confirmed he’s on his way, we know that is now a done deal. It was reported as many as 20 teams reached out and kicked tires on the defenseman’s availability.

As per Pierre LeBrun, his agent said last week, “I’ve had 20-plus teams reach out to me, but his focus right now is to talk to Boston. … He still has the option to retire. But he seems very interested in playing if it’s the right fit.’’

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