Chara: Norris Reflects Team
BostonBruins.com – The phrase "No I" is literally inside of the word Norris – and when Chara was asked about what the trophy means, he was quick explain how it's a team effort.
"I never felt or wanted to win the trophy not playing a team game," Chara said. "And I always sacrifice everything I can and work towards a team goal."
When the B's captain won the award back in 2009 he spent much of his time at the podium thanking his supporting cast.
Even today, when he was asked about winning the award 4 years ago, he was quick to rephrase his accomplishment from "when I did that" to "when we did that as a team. Because I really felt that in ‘09 we all had such a great year."
Big Z puts team success first, recognizing personal accolades only where they fit into the collective identity of the squad. Chara was an integral part of the defensive minded B's who, together, sieged the top 5 spots in plus/minus across the entire NHL.
"When I can do it in terms of being good also as [an] individual for something else, it's a bonus."
That being said, the defenseman is honored to have been nominated for a fifth time.
"I know this is my fifth nomination which I'm extremely happy about. Like I said it's very hard to be nominated," Chara said.
The Bruins have had a Norris Trophy winner a league high thirteen times, with their original six rivals in Montreal behind them with eleven.
Bobby Orr won the Norris Trophy for a record eight straight times (1968-1975). Ray Bourque won the trophy five times. Chara, who brought the thirteenth Norris trophy to Boston, hopes he can join the legendary names who've repeated the feat.
"You have only few great defensemen who accomplish that and not too many can or did repeat that," Chara said of the accolade.
Among those defensemen who've won multiple times is last year's Norris Trophy winner, Nicklas Lidstrom, who announced his retirement this year after winning the Trophy 7 times.
At 6'9" Chara is the tallest player in league history, but he looks up to Lidstrom.
"Nick is such an icon – I look up to him so much that every time I'm around him I'm nervous. He's such a big statue in this award," Chara said after winning in 2009.
Speaking of statues, the only player in the league with more Norris Trophies is Bobby Orr with 8, who Lidstrom could have tied had Chara not won in 2009.
If Z wins on Wednesday, he'll join an even higher tier of legends who've not only won, but repeated as Norris defenseman.
"Hopefully I can do it again, and if I do it would be huge and amazing accomplishment."