Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara skates against the Winnipeg Jets in...

Islanders defenseman Zdeno Chara skates against the Winnipeg Jets in the first period of an NHL hockey game at UBS Arena on Friday, March 11, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The trade deadline came and went on March 21, and future Hall of Famer Zdeno Chara likely could have finished off the season with a playoff contender.

But the 6-9, 250-pound defenseman, who lifted the Stanley Cup once in his 14 seasons as the Bruins’ captain, wanted to remain an Islander, and president and general manager Lou Lamoriello likely heeded his wish.

“I believe in this team,” Chara said after Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the Bruins at UBS Arena in his first comments since the trade deadline. “That was my intention when I signed with this team and I’m going to stick with it.”

The Islanders (28-27-9) will open a home-and-home series against the Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena. They haven’t been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention but are 19 points behind the Capitals, who hold the Eastern Conference’s final wild-card spot. Any combination of points lost by the Islanders and/or gained by the Capitals totaling 17 will eliminate the Isles.

Chara, who signed a one-year deal with a salary-cap charge of $750,000 after one season with the Capitals, turned 45 three days before the trade deadline. He set an NHL record for defensemen when he played in his 1,652nd regular-season game (he’s up to 1,663) and has been a great teammate, serving as a mentor for Noah Dobson. He has 10 assists in 55 games and is sixth on the team in ice time with an average of 18:23.

Lamoriello hasn’t indicated whether he’ll consider re-signing Chara and Chara has not indicated whether he intends to play next season. It’s no sure thing that Chara will be an Islander next season after starting his career with the franchise in 1997.

For now, with Scott Mayfield likely done for the season with a lower-body injury, he is being counted on for heavy minutes. Sebastian Aho missed Sunday’s game with an injury and Grant Hutton was brought up from the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport on an emergency recall.

“Having people in and out of the lineup due to injuries, it’s just a part of the game,” Chara said. “Guys have to step up and fill that position as best as we can. That’s just something that every team is probably facing during the season. It doesn’t change anything that we do as a group system-wise, so we’ve just got to play the best we can.”

Notes & quotes: Goalie Cory Schneider was added to the Islanders’ roster from Bridgeport. . . . The Islanders did not practice on Monday so there was no update on the status of goalie Ilya Sorokin, who exited Sunday’s loss after two periods with an upper-body injury after taking two pucks off his mask. Barry Trotz said he was not sure if Sorokin would travel to Columbus . . . Richard Panik was reassigned to the Chicago Wolves, the Hurricanes’ AHL affiliate. The 31-year-old forward had one assist in four games for the Islanders after being acquired from the Red Wings on July 16 along with a second-round pick for defenseman Nick Leddy. He had seven goals and five assists in 28 games for Bridgeport.

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