Bruins name Chara captain, months after lucrative deal

Updated: October 3, 2006, 5:20 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins named Zdeno Chara captain on Tuesday, sewing a giant "C" on the sweater worn by the 6-foot-9 defenseman -- the tallest player in the NHL and the biggest prize in the free-agent market.

Zdeno Chara

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Dave Lewis made Chara the 18th captain in the 82-year history of the Original Six franchise. Former captains John Bucyk, Dit Clapper, Ferny Flaman, Milt Schmidt, Leo Boivin, Cooney Weiland and Ray Bourque are all in the Hall of Fame.

Patrice Bergeron and Glen Murray have been named as assistant captains. Chara is the third Slovakian-born player to serve as captain in the NHL, joining Quebec's Peter Stasny and Chicago's Stan Mikita.

"He leads by example, both on and off of the ice, and he has earned the respect of everyone in our dressing room," Chiarelli said.

Chara signed with the Bruins for five years at a reported $37.5 million as a free agent this summer after playing four seasons with the Ottawa Senators, following four seasons in the New York Islanders organization. He was a Norris Trophy finalist in 2004 and finished fourth in the balloting last season.

Chara has scored 57 goals and 118 assists with 901 penalty minutes in 530 career NHL games.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press