It used to be easy to defend Zdeno Chara from critics: at 6'9", his elbows are at everyone else's head, so accidental dangerous hits are bound to happen. There was no excusing this, however:
Playing for Claude Julien's Boston Bruins has a tendency to bring the bully out of anyone, including scrawny little fuckers like Gregory Campbell and even respectable players like Patrice Bergeron at times, so imagine how bad it gets when a douchebag like Brad Marchand or a tower of power like Chara buys into the "we're allowed to be dirty" mantra.
And yet, it has netter them a Stanley Cup (2011), another Cup Final (2013), and a Presidents' Trophy (2014). Chara himself has won the Norris Trophy in 2009 to go along with two First Team All-Star nods (2009 and 2014) and three Second Team All-Star selections (2008, 2011 and 2012) since moving to Boston as a free agent after the Ottawa Senators made the hard decision to keep Wade Redden instead.
As the game has gotten faster, he's been looking more and more exposed out there, and at age 39, we may be reaching a time where not only isn't he on the B's top pairing, but he may soon also no longer be on their first powerplay unit despite his booming shot.
Still, with all the team and individual success he's known, he has been the most successful Bruins captain since Ray Bourque. Like Bourque, he could very well end up in the Hall of Fame.
Here he is wearing the Bruins' black (now-home) uniform, on card #48 from Panini's 2011-12 Pinnacle set and Threads sub-set: