BRIGHTON, MA – It was certainly interesting to see Zdeno Chara spotted walking outside the Boston Bruins practice facility at Warrior Ice Arena on Tuesday afternoon after the conclusion of a captain’s practice at the rink.
Boston Globe reporter Matt Porter spotted the 45-year-old former Boston Bruins captain walking down the street away from Warrior, and that immediately set everybody racing around speculating that Chara was returning to the B’s just as David Krejci opted to do earlier this summer.
Chara, after all, is unsigned right now after playing last season with the New York Islanders and is still deciding on what he’s going to do for next season after passing Chris Chelios last year for the lead in all-time games played (1,680) by an NHL defenseman. It could make sense at least logically that Chara might give it one last go-round with Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Krejci, David Pastrnak and Co., particularly with a number of Boston defensemen expected to miss time at the beginning of the season.
The truth about what Chara was doing at Warrior and whether it had anything to do with a return to the Boston Bruins?
“Nothing,” confirmed Chara’s agent Matt Keator via text message to Boston Hockey Now when asked if anything should be read into his appearance at Warrior.
Instead, he was visiting his old Boston Bruins “and getting his kid’s skates sharpened”, which one can actually see in the bag that the 6-foot-9 D-man is holding in the picture that was snapped of Chara outside Warrior Ice Arena.
It will be interesting to see if Chara winds up signing with another team for another run at a Stanley Cup or retiring as a no-doubt Hall of Famer as soon as he is eligible. It was also right around this time last season that Chara signed with the New York Islanders while making the very same decision between playing more season or retirement, a decision last year that led him to playing 72 games (2 goals, 14 points and a plus-8 rating) for a disappointing Isles team that ended up outside of the playoff race very early on in the season.
If Chara does retire, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him do something like sign a one-day contract to officially end his NHL career with the Boston Bruins, and then join the organization in some kind of player development/executive/coaching capacity if that interested him. Chara represented the Black and Gold with class, intelligence and fierce competitiveness for 15 years while leading Boston to a Cup in 2011, and that’s a legacy that will have him in pristine standing with the Original Six organization whenever he wanted to return to the fold in any capacity.