Bruins Captain Gets Extension
Early Wednesday afternoon the Boston Bruins gave their longtime captain Zdeno Chara a one year extension. This most likely means the end is soon for Chara. The Black and Gold are playoff bound, and for Chara it could be one of his last runs. This extension means the Bruins captain will most likely finish his career in Boston; a fitting ending for their longest tenured player.
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Chara’s Early Days
Chara came to the Bruins as a free agent in the 2006 season. The Bruins signed him to a five year deal for $7.5 million a year. He was the first big signing for a Bruins organization that was trying to find its way. Since then, the Bruins captain has had a memorable run in Boston. He won the Norris Trophy in the 2008-2009 season and has finished in the top five for the award four other times. He isn’t the forty point scorer he once was, but he’s still critical to this team.
How the NHL Has changed
As Chara’s time in Boston has gone, he has changed, and so has the team. When he came here this wasn’t a playoff team. He’s helped instill a culture of winning that wasn’t here when he arrived. It’s the culture he worked for the one he signed on to create. The NHL has also changed, as it is now much faster faced. Offensive minded defenseman are more prominent today. Chara is not the same defenseman that once averaged forty points a season, nor is he the face of the franchise. The title belongs Bergeron now, but that is not where his value lies.
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Chara’s Impact on the Youth
When Chara does walk away from hockey he’ll be leaving a playoff team, not one trying to find its way like the one he signed with twelve years ago. He has been key in mentoring the Bruins youth, including players such Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Matt Grzelcyk. These are the kids who will look to build on a season that for many has been a dream. Chara isn’t a top five defenseman in the NHL but he’s still one of the best. This extension could reach five million in incentives, and it could be Big Z’s last one. He is a big reason the Bruins are playoff bound, and for the change since he got here.