While his former team, the Boston Bruins prepares for a second-round matchup with either the Pittsburgh Penguins or New York Islanders, former Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is once again facing an uncertain future as an NHL player.
The Bruins knocked Zdeno Chara and the Washington Capitals out in five games with a 3-1 series-clinching win in Game 5 this past Sunday and on Tuesday, Chara was non-committal on his future with not just the Washington Capitals but also as an NHL player. Then on Wednesday, Zdeno Chara, who can become an unrestricted free agent again in July, seemed as if he might be done with the Capitals at least, in a social media post. Posting on both Facebook and Instagram, the former Boston Bruins captain appeared to be saying goodbye to the team and fans he spent this past season playing for.
‘I have been so very fortunate to be a part of the Washington Capitals organization. Since day one I’ve been welcomed with open arms and every day was a pleasure to come to the rink. Even though our season didn’t end the way we all wanted I am grateful and humbled for the opportunity to play for Washington. To all the players, coaches, staff, fans, and especially my family, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.’
This social media post came a day after Zdeno Chara openly admitted that for the second straight year, he would need to have a sitdown with his wife, agent, and confidants to determine whether or not he will play another season in the NHL or retire from what has been a decorated and hall of fame worthy career.
“Obviously the season didn’t end the way we wanted it. That’s life. You have to move on.,” Chara said in his exit Zoom call with the media Tuesday. “As far as myself and my future, I’m going to take a few days to talk to my family and make decisions after,” Zdeno Chara said. “I have to have a conversation with my wife and children and see where we want to be in the next few days or weeks. After those conversations, I’ll let the emotions settle in and see where I’m at.”
Chara’s family stayed behind in Boston for his 23rd season in the NHL and while he credited the Capitals organization for trying to make his new living environment and being away from them as easy as possible, it’s clear being away from his wife and kids took a toll. That toll will definitely play a role in his decision on whether or not he should hang them up on his career.
“Definitely, that was one of those things I found to be the most challenging, but the accommodation and the environment I was in made it much, much easier and better than I expected,” said Chara who finished the playoffs with no points in five games after finishing the regular season with two goals and eight points in 55 games. “I’m looking forward to seeing my family and my kids every day. That will definitely be a factor going into the decision I’ll be making in the future.”