What a night for legendary defenseman Zdeno Chara.
Against the San Jose Sharks last night, the Slovakian became the NHL’s all-time leader in games played by a defenseman. Chara’s played in the NHL for 24 seasons and was on the ice for his 1,652nd career game, passing Chris Chelios for most games by a D-man.
And in his history-breaking game, Chara, of course, had to set a mark, doing it in the most Chara way ever. Early in the second period, he got into an argument with Sharks forward Jeffrey Viel, who dropped the gloves.
Viel was born in 1997 – one year after Chara was drafted by the Islanders – and had a clear physical disadvantage against the 6-foot-9 tall Zdeno Chara.
And the fight ended as most people suspected, with Chara having the upper hand and eventually dropping Viel to the ice.
According to statistician Darin Stephens, Chara is now the oldest player in NHL history to have a fighting major, at 44 years and 343 days old.
After the game, Sharks player Jacob Middleton revealed that Chara asked Viel to fight him.
”Impressive. And Chara asked him, too, from the sound of it. For Viel to say ‘yes’ and go with a guy that big gives us life on the bench for sure,” he says.
READ ALSO: How the most stone cold answer about fighting got a young Zdeno Chara in to the NHL