Zdeno Chara Returns to the Islanders

Gabrielle Lopez, Webmaster and Layout Editor

In the 1996 NHL Draft, the New York Islanders drafted 19-year-old Zdeno Chara in the third round of the draft. Twenty-five years and three teams later, Chara has returned to the Islanders, signing a 1-year deal at $750,000 with the possibility of an extra $750,000 in performance bonuses. Previously he played for the Boston Bruins, Ottawa Senators and the Washington Capitals.

The idea of Chara returning to the island 20 years later was unpredicted; no one expected it. Some think that he is back on the Islanders because he’s now 44 years old, and this could be his last season in the NHL; he wants to end right back where he started. 

“It’s kind of a full circle,” Chara said via a zoom interview with reporters. “Who would know this would work out the way it did? I’m very honored and humbled to be an Islander again. The organization has been through some transitions over the last 20 years, but we can all see the progress and the positivity the team has.” 

Though for the Islanders, bringing Chara back was definitely an amazing move. Having a veteran player like Zdeno Chara can give the team a good chance at the Stanley Cup this year. The past two seasons, the Islanders have been defeated, back to back, by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Getting this far in the playoffs has caused other teams and fans of the sport to realize that the Islanders truly are a threat and have a big chance at winning it all during the 2021-2022 season!