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NHL World Reacts To Stunning Zdeno Chara Decision

NHL stars Zdeno Chara and Alex Ovechkin during a Boston Bruins vs. Washington Capitals game.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 11: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals and Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins look on during the second period at Capital One Arena on December 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Zdeno Chara made his NHL debut in 1997, and has spent the last 14 seasons with the Boston Bruins. He isn't ready to hang up his skates quite yet.

Chara became the oldest active player in the NHL last year. Earlier this month, as the NHL was still solidifying its plans for a 2020-21 season, there were rumors that he was set to retire. Instead, he's going to return for a 23rd season, and will be doing it with a new franchise.

Chara has signed a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals, worth $795,000. It was a pretty unexpected move for Big Z, who had been a captain throughout his time in Boston. He confirmed the move shortly after the news broke.

"My family and I have been so fortunate to call the great city of Boston our home for over 14 years," Chiara wrote. "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."

Chara's note does not mention his new team, the Capitals, but NHL Twitter has been on fire with reactions to the huge move to the 2018 Stanley Cup champions. Many Boston fans are particularly shocked as they process how this played out.

Chara confirming that the Bruins made the call, even with him set to make less than $1 million this coming season, is rough. Especially with last year, and his tenure in Boston, ending in a fan-less bubble.

Hopefully Bruins fans get a chance to send Zdeno Chara off in person at some point in the future. It's only right for a player with that kind of longevity and history with a franchise.

[Zdeno Chara]