If the decision is up to Zdeno Chara, he will play another NHL season whether the 2019-20 season resumes or not. In a Zoom conference call with the media Friday, Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed the Bruins captain has no plans to hang them up.
“Zdeno himself has reported that he would like to continue to play,” Sweeney told reporters. Chara played in 68 games for the Bruins before the NHL went on a pause roughly a month ago due to COVID-19. In those 68 games, the captain had registered 14 points (5 g, 9 a), 60 penalty minutes and a +26 rating.
There doesn’t appear to be any rush to get a new contract done with Chara. Both sides have gone year-to-year recently, and the Slovakian defenseman doesn’t appear to have an appetite to play anywhere else. It’s quite a unique relationship, and Sweeney acknowledged that.
“The really unique relationship that we have as an organization with Zdeno — and this started a bunch of years ago but in the last three or four in particular — he has exercised the ability to show patience and allow us to plan accordingly and then adjust in his own contractual situations,” Sweeney continued.
“You saw him do two consecutive one-year deals, which was important for us in planning. Again, that’s an extension of the relationship that he and (agent) Matt Keator have afforded us with the impact and legacy he has with the organization.”
Chara will be an unrestricted free agent whenever free agency eventually opens up.