Agent: Zdeno Chara waiting until September to decide NHL future

New York Islanders' Zdeno Chara (33) reacts during the last seconds of the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Friday, April 29, 2022, in Elmont, N.Y. (Frank Franklin II/AP)

Defenceman Zdeno Chara is not yet ready to make a decision regarding his future and will wait until September, according to his agent Matt Keator.

Chara is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 13 after reuniting with the New York Islanders on a one-year deal last September for his 24th season in the NHL.

The 45-year-old Chara was the oldest player in the league and registered two goals and 12 assists in 72 games.

“He’s going to take the summer with his family and assess where he’s at physically, where his family’s at, and make a decision in September,” Keator told the Boston Globe. “No rush.”

Chara was drafted in the third round, 56th overall, by the Islanders back in 1996 and spent his first four seasons in the league with the club. He was traded to the Ottawa Senators in June 2001 along with Bill Muckalt and the No. 2 pick in the draft (Jason Spezza) for Alexei Yashin. Chara signed as a free agent with the Boston Bruins in July 2006 and served as captain during his entire 14-season tenure with the club. He signed a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals in December 2020 before rejoining the Islanders last season.

The Trencin, Slovakia, native has played 1,680 games, the most ever by a defenceman in the NHL, and has recorded 680 points — 209 goals and 471 assists — plus 2,085 penalty minutes in his career.

He won the Norris Trophy in 2009 as the league’s top defenceman and captured the Stanley Cup in 2011.

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