“Definitely not getting ahead of myself. I’m still in the present and I still believe that we’re going to play some sort of hockey this season,” the Bruins 43-year-old defenseman said. “But that’s where I’m at. I’m not getting too ahead of myself. Obviously, I still love the game. I still love going out there and compete, and if everything is right, I still want to play.”
In a Zoom call with the media on April 9, Sweeney let it be known that he was notified by Chara that his intentions were to keep playing past the 2019-20 season regardless of the fact the NHL paused the season on March 12 due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
“Zdeno himself has reported that he would like to continue to play,” Sweeney told reporters then.
Sweeney also credited the approach Chara has taken this season and last when it comes to contract talks and keeping the Bruins in the loop on when he may retire.
“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 said.
“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.”
In 68 games this season, the 6-foot-9, 250-pound rearguard had 14 points (5 g, 9 a), 60 penalty minutes and a +26 rating.