You read that right. New York Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara was asked to attend the NHL's All-Star weekend and the eventual Hall of Famer declined the opportunity. If you have questions about that statement let me try to clear it up for you.
First, this bit of news was reported not by the Islanders but by Sportsnet Jeff Marek. And the invitation was not to play in the 3on3 All-Star Game but to be part of the skills competition. Specifically, to join in on the hardest shot event.
Chara has won the hardest shot competition five times and holds the record for the hardest shot at 108.8MPH. SO you can see why the NHL would want Chara there, even if just as an ambassador.
Thankfully, Chara said no (politely0.
New York Islanders Zdeno Chara says no to All-Star Weekend
I understand that seeing Chara rip slappers into an empty cage could be a whole hell of a lot of fun, but at 44 years old Chara could certainly use the extra time to rest and recover.
He's recently turned the negative narrative around his season. He's no longer a liability out on the ice for the Islanders like he was at the start of the year. Sure, he's slow, but Chara has never been a speedy player. He's always been a smart and positionally sound player. Those two aspects of his game are still prevalent today.
Seeing Chara finally hit his stride with the Islanders is a great sign with Ryan Pulock returning shortly. That's a solid three pairs for the Isles to run with essentially half of the season left to play.
Again, having Chara rip slappers like it's 2012 again would be great. But I'd much rather have Chara rest and recharge for the gauntlet of games still remaining on the schedule.