Twenty years later, Zdeno Chara is returning to the Island.
The legendary defenseman has signed a one-year deal with the Islanders, the team announced, bringing in the future Hall of Famer after trading defenseman Nick Leddy earlier in the offseason.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The 44-year-old Chara originally was a third-round pick by the Islanders in 1996 and played parts of four seasons in New York before getting traded to the Senators as part of the blockbuster Alexei Yashin trade in 2001.
Chara became a star in Ottawa and an icon in Boston, where he signed as a free agent in 2006 and was a force through the 2019-20 season.
The 6-foot-9 monster — the tallest player to play in the NHL — is a six-time All-Star, won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman in ’09 and won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2010.
He played in 55 games last year with the Capitals.
The Islanders will see what he has left, and Chara will see an organization he hasn’t played for in 20 years.