Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is just like the rest of us.
The Washington Capitals shocked everyone in the hockey world when they acquired Zdeno Chara. This signing surprised everyone including team captain Alex Ovechkin, who spoke to the media last week on the first day of training camp.
Ovechkin laughed when asked about Chara. Via Ian Oland of Russian Machine Never Breaks, Ovechkin said, “Obviously, you know if someone tell me two or three years ago I’m gonna play with (Henrik) Lundqvist on one team and (Zdeno) Chara on another team, I would say, ‘Are you guys crazy?'”.
Chara is a six time all star, a Norris Trophy winner and a Stanley Cup champion, having won the title with the Boston Bruins in 2011. Chara is also known for his polarizing size as the tallest hockey player of all time and holds the record for the hardest shot clocking in at 108.8 miles per hour.
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Chara has spent 22 seasons in the NHL and this offseason it was unknown if he would continue to paly or hang up his skates. After the Bruins told him their plan to move on, Chara opted to test free agency where he saw a perfect fit with the Caps as their defense needs to improve this season.
Ovechkin added, “I think he’s experienced you know? He’s a winner. I think he’s a really competitive guy. He wants to play. He wants to win. He’s still big, strong. He’s going to help our D to learn a lot. He’s here to help us not ‘Okay, we sign Chara. Everything’s all in all…’ He’s going to come here. He’s going to work hard. He’s going to bring some energy. He’s going to bring some new experience to our team. I think it’s going to help us.”
In Chara’s first press conference he indicated that despite the novel coronavirus pandemic there hasn’t been any changes to his workout routines and that he still “has lots of gas left” in the tank.
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That is an encouraging sign for fans who have probably been told by Caps haters that they signed someone that was washed up.
It looks like Chara has found his home in Washington. He scored in the second intrasquad scrimmage and has found a pairing partner in Nick Jensen. He can likely even make Jensen a better defenseman as he’s been the subject of criticism the last two years.