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Zdeno Chara

Born:March 18, 1977Draft:1996 Islanders #56 Overall
Hometown:Trencin, SlovakiaPosition:D
Known For:Nicknamed “Big Z”Shoots:Left
National Team:SlovakiaCurrent Status:Retired

Zdeno Chára (Slovak pronunciation: [ˈzdɛnɔ ˈxaːra]; born 18 March 1977) is a Slovak former ice hockey defenceman. He played 24 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins, and Washington Capitals. Standing at 6-foot-9, Chára is the tallest person ever to play in the NHL, earning him the nickname “Big Z”.

Chára served as the Bruins’ captain for all of his fourteen seasons with the franchise, from 2006 to 2020. He won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenceman in 2009, becoming the first Slovak player to do so, and the second European player after Nicklas Lidström. In 2011, 2013 and 2019 Chára captained the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Final. He is one of three European-born and raised captains to lead his team to the Stanley Cup championship (along with Lidström and Alexander Ovechkin), and the first born and trained in the Eastern Bloc.

Zdeno Chara Washington Capitals
Zdeno Chara, Washington Capitals (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Zdeno Chara Statistics

Deeper Dive


  • Captain of the Bruins (2006-2020)
  • World Cup Runner Up (2017)
  • NHL First All-Star Team (2004, 2010, 2014)
  • KHL All-Star Game (2013 – did not play)
  • NHL All-Star Game (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
  • NHL Second All-Star Team (2006, 2011, 2012)
  • Three-time Slovakian Player of the Year (Golden puck) (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • World Championship All-Star Team (2012)
  • World Championship Best Defenseman (2012)
  • Two-time World Championship Silver Medalist (2000, 2012)
  • World Championship Top 3 Player on Team Slovakia (2004, 2007, 2012)
  • Mark Messier Leadership Award (2011)
  • Stanley Cup Champion with the Bruins (2011)
  • James Norris Memorial Trophy (2009)
  • AHL All-Rookie Team (1998)
  • AHL All-Star Game (1998)