When 42-year-old Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cullen retired Thursday after 21 seasons in the NHL, Boston Bruins defenseman and captain Zdeno Chara, also 42, became the oldest player in the NHL. Chara, who signed a one-year contract extension with a $2 million cap hit plus a potential $1.75 million in bonuses, took to Instagram and Facebook Thursday to express his pride in his longevity and his passion for the game that still remains strong.
Chara showed that passion and his leadership playing the final three games of the Stanley Cup Final with a broken jaw. While the Bruins lost the series in seven games, that sacrifice will go down in Boston sports folklore. Chara also played seven games with the groin injury that forced him to miss the Bruins’ series-clinching Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Slovakia native had two goals and four assists in 23 playoff games and had five goals and nine assists in 62 regular season games.