Chara doesn’t consider retiring from Bruins, NHL after playoffs

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Zdeno Chara doesn’t approach the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs like it’s his last.

Chara, who will be an unrestricted free agent after this season, said on Saturday he has yet to determine the end of his NHL career. Instead, he’s focusing on Stanley Cup qualifying with the Boston Bruins.“Honestly, I’m just trying to stay where my feet are,” said the 43-year-old defenseman. “I’m focused on how I’m going to play and play and I’m open-minded. We will see what will happen. But for now, I’m really focusing on my performance. ”

Chara, the Bruins captain since Oct. 3, 2006, signed one-year contracts in March during each of the past two seasons – his 2019-20 touchdown was $ 2 million with $ 1.75 million in performance bonuses – but haven’t done so yet. so this season. The NHL season was interrupted on March 12 due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

The Bruins leave Sunday for Toronto, the central Eastern Conference city, where they will face the Philadelphia Flyers (August 2), the Tampa Bay Lightning (August 5) and the Washington Capitals (August 9) in the Scotiabank Arena in a round. -robin to determine the ranking of the playoffs.

Boston has an exhibition game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on July 30 (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, TVAS, FS-O, NESN, NHL.TV).

Chara averaged 21:01 of ice time in his 22nd NHL season, the lowest since his first full season (18:54) with the New York Islanders in 1998-99. He remains one of the best closing defensemen in the NHL, scored 14 points (five goals, nine assists) and played on the first pair with Charlie McAvoy, part of a defense that has allowed a minimum of 2.39 goals per game in the NHL.

Forward Brad Marchand, who has played with Chara for 11 seasons, said he doesn’t see him leaving the game anytime soon.

“I really don’t know,” Marchand said. “He just looks like this guy who will play forever. I think you kind of have a sense when a guy is going to wrap up and he just doesn’t have that attitude. ”

Chara continues to impress his teammates with his commitment on the ice and in the weight room.

“He always does more than everyone else,” said Marchand. “He always wants to win more than anyone.… Whenever it comes up, we always talk about it. [playing] more years and play [until] he’s 70, which I think is two years away.

“So yes, really not. I think he’s going to play longer, and he still has a lot more to give. He is still one of the best defensemen in the League. So I can’t see him stepping away from the game yet. ”



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