08. 11. 2019 13:21
The Slovak ice-hockey player and Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chára received a standing ovation from the crowd at Bell Centre in Montreal this week, as the crowd celebrated his 1,500th game played in the NHL. Chára thus become the sixth NHL defenseman to reach this milestone. "I really appreciated that the Montreal fans showed that they love hockey and can recognize the opponent's success," said Zdeno Chára after the match, adding that it was something he would definitely remember. Usually he encounters booing, as he is also known as a tough player in a direct contact.
What makes Zdeno Chára's longevity even more interesting is that he has become only the third European player in the NHL who has managed to pass the limit of 1,500 games. Preceding him are the Czech legend Jaromír Jágr and the Swedisch Nicklas Lidström.
"Zdeno is an incredibly devoted guy. At 42 years of age, many younger players can envy him. In addition, he wants to be the best in everything. Therefore, he is still able to cope with all that the NHL burden brings," said the Canadians' coach Claude Julien in an interview with the Montreal Gazette. Julien coached the Bruins in 2011, when they won the Stanley Cup. Chára was already Bruins captain back then. Besides the Stanley Cup, Zdeno Chára has also won a Norris Trophy, a Mark Messier Leadership Award, played in six NHL All-Star Games and holds the hardest-shot competition record with a blast of 108.8 mph.