Boston Bruins sign defenceman Zdeno Chara to seven-year contract extension

PRAGUE – Four-time all-star Zdeno Chara has signed a seven-year, US$45.5-million contract extension that would keep him with the Boston Bruins through the 2017-’18 season.

General manager Peter Chiarelli announced the deal Saturday, before the Bruins played the Phoenix Coyotes in the Czech Republic. Chara is originally from neighbouring Slovakia.

Chara will receive 8.5 million in 2011-’12 and subsequent annual salaries of $6 million (2012-’13), $8 million (2013-’14); $7 million (2014-’15); $7 million (2015-’16); $5 million (2016-’17) and $4 million (2017-’18) throughout the deal.

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The 33-year-old captain led the Bruins with a plus-19 rating last season. He had 44 points (seven goals, 37 assists) in 80 games.

The six-foot-nine blue-liner won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenceman in 2009.

Chara has recorded 363 points (111-252) in 847 career regular-season games. He has 27 points (7-20) in 76 career post-season games.