Published: Wed, March 28, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Bruins sign Zdeno Chara to 1-year contract extension

Bruins sign Zdeno Chara to 1-year contract extension

The Bruins answered one of their most pressing off-season questions a little early on Wednesday.

Just 10 days after Zdeno Chara celebrated his 41st birthday, Bruins GM Don Sweeney has handed the 20-year National Hockey League veteran a belated birthday gift: a one-year contract extension that will see the Bruins captain return for his 13th campaign in Boston. There's an intangible aspect to bringing him back, which is to say Boston has put value on his ability to mentor younger players and provide leadership to the group as a whole.

The Trencin, Slovakia native was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the third round (56 overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

On the year, Chara has 7 goals and 16 assists for 23 points, with a plus-26 rating, which is on track for his highest plus/minus rating since the 2011-12 season. Chara a former Norris Trophy victor back in the 2008-2009 season has seen his role diminish recently as he was taken off the power-play. He is a much better defender who is able to keep up with players. While he's no longer a fixture on the power-play, Chara remain a rock on the penalty kill and quite often stays on the ice for the entire two-minute kill.

The captain will be returning to Boston next season. Chara will be back just in time to get prepared for the Bruins Stanley Cup Playoff run. He's a 41-year-old who struggled at times last season.

At the start of the season I had my doubts about Chara.

The extension allows this year's top defense pairing of Chara-McAvoy to carry into next season and gives prospects like Urho Vaakanainen, Wiley Sherman, and other left-handed D-men another year to develop.

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