BOSTON (CBS) — Zdeno Chara may be a free agent at the moment, but that wasn’t going to stop him from continuing a Thanksgiving tradition for the Bruins.

Chara spent his Tuesday morning delivering pies to Boston area organizations for Thanksgiving. The defenseman made trips to the New England Center and Home for Veterans, St. Francis House, Pine Street Inn and Rosie’s Place, hand delivering 200 pies that were provided by Hockey Cares Inc. and H&P Cookie.

It’s the third straight year that Chara has been in charge of making sure the pies get to those in need.

“I think it’s important to stay involved with the community. All of us are going through some challenging times, and this is the time that people need support,” Chara said Tuesday. “I think all of us feel a little bit lonely. We just need to be connected and still show that we care.”

Zdeno Chara delivers pies to Boston area shelters on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving. (Photo by Boston Bruins)

Chara said that giving back is something that he and his family are proud to be a part of every year.

“This time of the year, it’s very specific for giving,” he said of the Thanksgiving season. “It’s important to me and my family that we show how much we care about people who don’t have the same privileges that we do. It’s important for them to feel important as well. It’s kind of a second nature for us.”

This is the 12th year that the Bruins have donated and delivered pies on Thanksgiving. Aaron Ward got the tradition started when he used to deliver turkeys to shelters, with Dennis Wideman the first Bruins player to deliver pies in 2009. The tradition was carried on by Gregory Campbell (2010-14) and Matt Beleskey (2015-17) before Chara took over in 2018.