At age 42, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is currently the oldest player in the National Hockey League. However, the native of Trencin, Czechoslovakia is still playing at a very high level and is averaging 21 minutes and 38 seconds of ice time over the first 18 games the Bruins have played in the 2019-20 NHL regular season.
According to CBS Sports, Chara is even first on the Bruins depth chart among left handed shooting defensemen. He is currently playing on the Bruins top defense pairing alongside Charlie McAvoy of Long Beach, NY.
So far this season, Chara has three goals and four assists for seven points. He is an impressive +13 with 14 penalty minutes, one game winning goal, 32 shots on goal, 26 blocked shots, 17 hits, nine takeaways and 13 giveaways.
Chara’s game winning goal came on Oct. 27 in a 7-4 Bruins win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It was at the 43 second mark of the third period from David Pastrnak and Brandon Carlo of Colorado Springs, CO, which put the Bruins up 5-1 at the time. Also in that game, Chara had an assist on a goal by Charlie Coyle of Weymouth, MA for his only multi-point game of the season and was a remarkable +6.
Earlier this month Chara also made hockey headlines when he played in his 1500th NHL regular season game in a 5-4 Bruins loss to the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. In this milestone contest, Chara received a standing ovation from a knowledgeable Canadiens fan base. Chara had one shot on net and one blocked shot in 17 minutes and 54 seconds of ice time.
Chara became the 21st player in National Hockey League history to play 1500 games. The all-time leader is Gordie Howe, who played 1767 games. Chara is third on the list in games played among active players. Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks leads with 1673 games and his Sharks teammate Joe Thornton is second with 1586 games.
The Bruins meanwhile are in first place in the Atlantic Division with 26 points. They have three more points than the Canadiens and Florida Panthers, who are tied for second place with 23 points.