Bruins sign Chara to five-year deal

Updated: July 1, 2006, 5:37 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Desperate to spark their team back into contention, the Boston Bruins made the biggest signing of the offseason thus far.

Zdeno Chara
Chara

The Bruins announced Saturday they have signed 6-foot-9 free-agent defenseman Zdeno Chara to a five-year deal worth $37.5 million.

Chara, the tallest player in the NHL, had a career best 43 points last season for Ottawa, with 16 goals and 27 assists in 71 games. He spent the last four seasons with the Senators, and played for Farjestads of Sweden during the lockout season.

"Zdeno is one of the premier defensemen in the National Hockey League and we are thrilled that he will be in a Boston uniform for the next five years," Bruins interim general manager Jeff Gorton said. "He is a big reason why Ottawa allowed the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference last season and that is one area that we were committed to improving on our team."

Chara, who also played four seasons with the New York Islanders, has 57 goals, 118 assists and 901 penalty minutes in his NHL career.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.