Chara leaves Caps for Islanders originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Zdeno Chara’s brief stint with the Capitals is now officially over. The New York Islanders announced on Saturday that they had reached an agreement with the veteran defenseman for a one-year contract.
Chara was a surprise free agent last year when he decided not to take a lesser role with the Boston Bruins. The Caps signed him for a one-year contract and, despite turning 44 in March, he has proven to be one of the team’s most consistent defenders. He played 55 games with two goals and eight assists, averaging 18:19 ice time per game.
Chara will remain in the division and travel to New York where he began his career. He was drafted by the Islanders in the third round of the 1996 draft. He made his NHL debut with 25 games in 1997-98.
The success of the contract was not immediately disclosed, but there was essentially no way the Caps could afford to bring it back with Michal Kempny returning from injury. The Caps will have to rely on Kempny and possibly prospect Martin Fehervary to make up for the loss of Chara and Brenden Dillon on the left side of the defense. They will now also have to face Chara, 6-foot-9 again.