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In Short Time, Chara Changed Capitals for the Better

“Hey, Zee!? Zee? Ah, there he is!”

From behind the walls of the locker room, Zdeno Chara would appear and make his way down the tunnel to a waiting Alex Ovechkin, where the two would chest bump and get ready for the game. The same ritual took place before nearly every game, with Chara fitting in seamlessly as if he’s been there for years while his teammates always looked elated to see the 6-foot-9 defenseman make a grand entrance.

That ritual was more than a warm-up, more than a routine — it was fitting of the value and positive culture he was helping to establish.