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Paul Kukla Kukla's Korner

Published on Saturday, September 24, 2022

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Zdeno Chara Changed The Bruins

from Kevin Paul Dupont Of The Boston Globe,

The most vivid memory of Zdeno Chara’s time with the Bruins undoubtedly will be the night of June 15, 2011, in Vancouver. The bearded Bruins captain, then 34, took the handoff from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and shook the glimmering Stanley Cup vigorously over his head, turning the trophy into an oversized salt shaker to sprinkle grains of joy.

In that one cathartic moment, the franchise’s 39-year championship drought finally came to an end. The days of the Big Bad Bruins, of Orr and Espo, of leather skates and wooden sticks and a dusty, fetid Garden, officially were relegated to a distant corner of the memory vault. All of it certified in that joyful moment some 3,200 miles west of Causeway Street by the towering Big Z.

More powerful and lasting, though, is the Chara legacy here of the last decade-plus, his combination of Herculean work ethic, athleticism, and professionalism that delivered a much-needed culture change that the organization prays can linger for many more years to come.

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