Islanders Zdeno Chara (unofficially) ends Hall of Fame career on a high

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders
Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Islanders / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

There's no official word yet from Zdeno Chara or the New York Islanders, but based on what we saw on the ice after game 82, Big-Z will be hanging up the skates on his NHL career.

After the final buzzer went, Islanders players surrounded Chara to shake his hand. An action that was immediately replicated by the Tampa Bay Lightning players. Even the refs got in on the handshakes. That doesn't happen unless a player is retiring.

New York Islanders Zdeno Chara ends Hall of Fame career on a high

And what a way to go out. Sure the team lost the game 6-4 after collapsing in the third period. But on an individual note, Chara was able to score one last time in the NHL with a nice writer from the point.

The tally gets him top 209 goals and 680 points in his sure fire Hall of Fame career.

A career that lasted 24 years, 1,680 games, 2,085 penalty minutes. He won the Norris trophy once but finished in the top three another five times. A Stanley Cup in 2011 with the Boston Bruins and a Messier Trophy in 2011.

The big 6'9" defenseman drafted by the Islanders in the third round of the 1996 draft has been a standout player. Not only because of his size but because of the way he plays, practices, and trains. He's a leader of men that is wildly respected around the NHL.

Sure Chara wasn't at his peak during his second go-around with the Islanders, but at the end of the game you call tell how much he means to the NHL and this fan base by how the fans chanted his name:

And because of that he'll surely get into the gall of game. First ballot? Perhaps.

Again, there is no official announcement of his retirement at the time of writing. Even Barry Trotz indicated in the post-game that Chara had not indicated he was retiring from the game. But I would imagine an official announcement from the team shortly indicating Chara's retirement soon.