Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Home Sport Washington Capitals' Zdeno Chara didn't want reduced role with Boston Bruins

Washington Capitals’ Zdeno Chara didn’t want reduced role with Boston Bruins


#Zdeno #Chara isn’t ready to retire and doesn’t want to play a reserve role, and that’s why he’s no longer the #Boston #Bruins’ captain.

#After 14 seasons with the #Bruins, #Chara, 43, signed a one-year, $795,000 contract with the #Washington #Capitals as a free-agent defenseman on #Wednesday. #He captained three #Boston teams that went to the #Stanley #Cup #Final, winning the championship in 2011. The 6-foot-9 defenseman was a finalist for the #Norris #Trophy five times with the #Bruins, winning it in 2008-09.

#He played 68 regular-season games last season and 13 more in the playoffs, but #Chara said he didn’t know he’d return for his 23rd NHL season until he began training for the 2020-21 campaign in #September.

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“#We were in that pause when we’d usually start a season. #That time was when I decided that if I started skating, going back to training, I would be quickly honest with myself about whether there was any hesitation about going back to the ice. #That never appeared,” he said in a news conference #Thursday. “#To me, that was an indication that I have lots of gas left and still want to do my thing. #That’s my motivation: #Still proving that I can play.”

The question then was where he’d play.

#Boston general manager #Don #Sweeney said the #Bruins had “multiple” discussions with #Chara during the year and had offered him a contract “months ago.” #He said #Chara asked for time to mull over the offer and the role the #Bruins wanted to integrate him into on the team: a reduced role compared with previous seasons, as #Boston wanted to give younger defensemen in its system ice time in order to evaluate them.

“#We didn’t make a categorical promise that he would have the same role that he had in his historic career with the #Boston #Bruins,” said #Sweeney on #Thursday.

#Chara said as those conversations with the #Bruins progressed, it became clear to him that he “would not be in the starting lineup for the season, not starting some games and not playing some back-to-back games. I would be more a reserve type of player.”

#Chara reiterated that #Sweeney “negotiated in good faith” but that ultimately #Chara felt he could still play consistent minutes in the NHL on another team.

#Nearly two dozen teams in the NHL showed interest in #Chara. #He said #Washington’s curiosity intensified recently.

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“A few days ago, #Washington informed us about their interest and I saw this opportunity that I didn’t want to pass on. #It was a good fit for me and my family,” #Chara said.

The defenseman said there have been no promises made by the #Capitals with regard to his ice time or games played. The #Capitals have roughly 10 defensemen in the mix heading into the 56-game regular season.

“There’s no specifics. There’s no guarantee. I just want to have a chance to compete,” said #Chara, who is going through COVID-19 protocols in the D.C. area.

#While his on-ice role remains cloudy, it’s obvious what appealed to the #Capitals off the ice about their new defenseman. #Chara is one of the NHL’s most respected captains. #After two first-round exits following their #Stanley #Cup win, #Washington put a premium on trying to find ways to motivate its veteran players. #After hiring fiery coach #Peter #Laviolette, the #Capitals add #Chara to a locker room with captain #Alex #Ovechkin.

“#This is #Alex’s team and #Peter’s team, and I look forward to helping them as much as I can on and off the ice,” #Chara said.

#Due to the NHL’s COVID-19-influenced realignment, the #Capitals will face the #Bruins eight times in intradivisional play this season. “#It’s going to be a strange feeling, for sure,” #Chara said.

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#He believes former teammate #Patrice #Bergeron will succeed him as a #Bruins captain. #Chara also acknowledged that he’s another in string of high-profile #Boston athletes to leave town in recent years. #He said he reached out to one of them, former #Patriots star #Tom #Brady, during this process.

“#Yeah, we are friends,” #Chara said. “I definitely see a new opportunity, new challenges. I’m extremely motivated and looking forward to going out there to compete.”



[ source link ]
https://www.espn.com/nhl/story/_/id/30629656/washington-capitals-zdeno-chara-want-reduced-role-boston-bruins

##Washington ##Capitals ##Zdeno ##Chara #didnt #reduced #role ##Boston ##Bruins

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