The longtime Bruins captain posted a farewell to Boston on Instagram minutes before the Capitals announced Chara would be heading to D.C.
In the post, Chara says the Bruins informed him that "they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players" and that he respected their decision.
"My time as the proud Captain of the @NHLBruins has come to an end. I want to first of all thank the passionate and loyal Bruins fans, who shared the ups and downs of each season over the past 14 years..."
Zdeno Chara says farewell to Boston via Instagram.
: IG/zeechara33 pic.twitter.com/rYHfWFHvjD
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 30, 2020
Chara will turn 44 in March and is coming off a deal that paid him $3.75 million last season but had a $2-million cap hit. He spent the past 14 seasons with Boston and will play his 23rd campaign in 2020-21.
The new contract has $730,000 in bonuses, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman. Chara will receive an extra $230,000 for playing 10 games, $250,000 for the Capitals making the playoffs and $250,000 if Washington wins the Stanley Cup.
"We are extremely pleased to have Zdeno join the Capitals organization," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said in a team statement. "We feel his experience and leadership will strengthen our blueline and our team."
Through 1,553 career games, sixth all-time by a defenceman, Chara has 205 goals and 656 points. He won the Norris in 2009, was a finalist five other times and led the Bruins to three Stanley Cup Finals, including a win in 2011.
As a result of the NHL's realignment for the 2021 season, the Bruins and Capitals will play against each other in the East Division and face off eight times during the 56-game season.