Islanders 21-22 record card: Zdeno Chara pass...sorta

Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders
Philadelphia Flyers v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Bringing in Zdeno Chara was a contentious move by the New York Islanders. On one hand, it was nice to see the legend back in an Islanders jersey. He'd also be a welcomed mentor for Noah Dobson. But on the other hand, the Isles still needed a more offensively-minded defenseman to add to the roster. That was not going to be Chara. So was this the right move? And could the 45-year-old still play well?

This is a continuation of the player-level report cards that we started this offseason. You can read the other ones here:

Defense: Sebastian Aho

Forwards: Josh Bailey | Mathew Barzal | Anthony Beauvillier | Kieffer Bellows | Casey Cizikas |Cal Clutterbuck | Anders Lee | Brock Nelson | Matt Martin | Kyle Palmieri | Jean-Gabriel Pageau | Zach Parise | Oliver Wahlstrom

Team Level: New York Islanders

New York Islanders 21-22 record card: Zdeno Chara

Offense: D-
Fourteen points in 72 games, doesn't sound great. And it really isn't great. For Chara, it's not bad. It's more than he scored last season, even if you pace out both years over 82 games. So that's a positive.

I'm not going to give him a great grade for that. He's still a D- offensively. He didn't push the needle forward.

I know it's not entirely fair, because Chara hasn't put up scored 30 or more points since 2015-16. There was just no way the 45-year-old was going to give the Isles much production. Again, I know that's not fair because he should never have been put in that position.

Defense: F
Only Aho and Greene had a worse relative 5on5 xGA/60 than Chara's 0.14. He wasn't brought in to provide offense. He was brought in to be a shut-down guy and mentor Dobson who would push up the ice and create offense. While Chara sure mentored Dobson, he wasn't that shut-down guy the Islanders needed.

Chara had his moments but they were overshadowed by his issues. He was brought in to play D and he didn't really do that well relative to the rest of the Isles defensemen. F.

Impact vs Reliance: C-
Chara's average 18:43 TOI was the fifth for defensemen in all situations for the Islanders. Greene, Salo, Aho, and Hutton were the only defensemen who played fewer minutes on average. And his game score average matches that. He held the fifth-best AGS at 0.03. His impact matched his reliance; C-.

Final Grade: D-
I'm trying not to be too negative here. Chara was cast in a bad spot and that's not his fault. The Islanders needed a puck mover, a guy who could add more offense. Chara was never going to be that guy. What he was wasn't great either. I have no issue with bringing him in this year but he should have played sheltered minutes and rotated out on occasion.