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Longtime Bruins captain Chara joins Washington Capitals

Longtime Bruins captain Chara joins Washington Capitals

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Capitals-Chara Hockey

Longtime Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara signed with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, a stunning move less than a week before most NHL teams open training camp. Chara agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $795,000. The 43-year-old defenseman posted on Instagram that the Bruins have decided to move forward with younger players. He had been Boston’s captain since 2006 and was the second European captain to win the Stanley Cup. “We are extremely pleased to have Zdeno join the Capitals organization,” general manager Brian MacLellan said. “We feel his experience and leadership will strengthen our blue line and our team.”

WASHINGTON—Longtime Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara signed with the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, a stunning move less than a week before most NHL teams open training camp.

Chara agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $795,000.

The 43-year-old defenseman posted on Instagram that the Bruins have decided to move forward with younger players. He had been Boston’s captain since 2006 and was the second European captain to win the Stanley Cup.

“We are extremely pleased to have Zdeno join the Capitals organization,” general manager Brian MacLellan said. “We feel his experience and leadership will strengthen our blue line and our team.”

The 6-foot-9 Chara is a seven-time All-Star who won the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman in 2009. He led the Bruins to the Cup in 2011 and trips to the final in 2013 and 2019.

Chara and his camp had been in talks with the Bruins since before free agency opened in October. It seemed likely the native of Slovakia would return to Boston unless he decided to retire.

Instead, he starts a new chapter uniting with Alex Ovechkin as each star looks to win the Cup for a second time.

INDIANAPOLIS—Longtime Indiana Pacers executive Donnie Walsh, the architect of the franchise's turnaround, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

Walsh, 79, came to Indiana as an assistant coach in 1984, joining a franchise that had never won a playoff game during its NBA history. Two years later he Walsh was promoted to general manager.

He made his biggest splash in 1987, defying the wishes of a basketball-crazed state to pass on high school and college star Steve Alford to select Reggie Miller. It didn't take Miller long to turn the draft-night boos into cheers.

Walsh continued building the Pacers with solid draft picks and shrewd moves. Indiana won its first playoff game in 1987, its first playoff series in 1994 and after reaching the Eastern Conference finals four times between 1994 and 1999, the Pacers finally won the 1999-2000 conference crown.

SAO PAULO—Representatives for soccer star Neymar are trying to distance him from claims he has flouted pandemic warnings with a huge, multiday New Year's bash at or near his home in Brazil while on break from his French club team.

Day Crespo, the main spokesperson for Neymar, said in an message Wednesday that the Paris Saint-Germain forward isn't even at the exclusive neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro state where the party is taking place.

“Neymar Jr. will not throw any party this year, we are in a full blown pandemic and he is with his friends and family members," she said. Earlier on Wednesday the footballer published on his social media channels a picture of himself and a friend on a boat in a Southern Brazil beach, Praia do Caixa D'Aço.

The Brazilian daily O Globo reported on Saturday that the player had organized a party it called a “Neymarpalooza” in the Rio state city of Mangaratiba, where he owns a mansion. It said many guests had already landed at a nearby airfield rented by Neymar.

Two of the player's friends, DJ Miss Natália and YouTuber Ana Liz Bittencourt, published pictures on their Instagram feeds showing themselves arriving in Mangaratiba and wearing blue wristbands that allegedly allow them into the party.

LONDON—The Premier League made it clear it doesn't intend to suspend the competition despite being forced to call off a second game this week amid concerns across England about a fast-spreading new variant of the coronavirus.

Fulham's game at Tottenham had to be postponed on Wednesday, while the government's tightening of coronavirus restrictions meant no Premier League stadiums will be allowed to have fans going forward.

But the league is resisting calls, including those from West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce, to suspend the competition for a second time during the pandemic. It was halted for 100 days from March to June last season during the first infection wave.

BORMIO, Italy—Matthias Mayer ended Austria's wait for its first victory of the Alpine skiing World Cup season by winning the classic downhill on the Stelvio on Wednesday in the last event of 2020.

In a spectacular race on one of the circuit’s most challenging courses, Mayer edged teammate Vincent Kriechmayr by four-hundredths of a second for an Austrian 1-2 finish. Austria had failed to win any of this season's previous 12 men's and 10 women's World Cup races.

Switzerland’s Urs Kryenbuehl was 0.06 behind in third as he claimed a third career podium result.

Dominik Paris, who has won the downhill on the slope in the Italian Alps four times, led Mayer by 0.08 at the second split time but at the end trailed by 0.13 in fourth.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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