Extension in the works between the Boston Bruins and Zdeno Chara

MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 12: Zdeno Chara /

The biggest offseason hurdle is now behind them.  Now, the Boston Bruins are turning their attention to something else that’s pretty big:  Zdeno Chara.

Since the Bruins 2016-2017 season ended earlier than they would have hoped, Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara has made it known he wants to stay in Boston beyond this year.  Now that the Bruins have signed David Pastrnak to his big contract, the organization has apparently shifted focus to the big man.

It is being widely reported that the two sides have expressed “mutual interest” in getting an extension done.  In discussing Chara with the media, Don Sweeney stated:

"“I’ve had talks with Zee, our indications are, as he has indicated, he would like to continue to play hockey,” said Sweeney. “We would like to continue to have him as a part of the Boston Bruins. So we will monitor that as we go through camp and as we go through the start of the season and have continuous talks.“It’s important for him to understand that we are in his court in that regard.”"

Chara, in slightly shorter fashion, confirmed the news of impending contract talks:

"“We reached out and had brief talks,” Chara confirmed. “The interest is on both sides.”"

After a captain’s practice in early September, Chara made it clearly known that going into the season, he had every intention of continuing his career after 2017-2018:

More from Boston Bruins

"“I definitely want to play beyond this season. It’s really hard to put a number on it. Some people do and some people don’t. I just obviously want to keep playing [in the NHL] beyond this season. I love this game too much. I have made no secrets about it. I want to stay here [with the Bruins] and continue to play.”"

The physically imposing hockey specimen, often referred to as “Big Zee,” is in the last year of his contract with the team, earning $4 million this season.  Many might call that a bargain, considering the impact he can have on the game in the defensive zone.  Is he still a $4 million per year player?  I would argue yes, considering the salaries of some lesser quality defensemen in the NHL these days.

I wrote earlier this month that the Bruins needed to do whatever is needed to make sure Chara retires on his own terms and as a member of the Black & Gold.  Whether the answer is multiple one-year deals until he’s done, or a multi-year extension, possibly for less money in AAV.  The Bruins are Chara’s team, and he has earned some club loyalty.

Related Story: Boston Bruins star Zdeno Chara looks to evolve at age 40

My fellow C&C writer, Sam Minton, also did a feature piece on Chara earlier this month.  In that, he outlined how he thinks the team should handle the 40 year old and his role this season and going forward.  I agree with my colleague that pretty soon, the team is going to have to start its wind-down process with Big Zee.  I mean, how many more seasons of 23:20 ATOI does the 6’9″ defenseman have in him?

Father time will catch up eventually, and when it does, Chara can walk away from the game and revel in the amazing, hall of fame career that he’s had.  But until he does, I want him in a Bruins jersey.  Oh, and if you have any doubts that he’s still in top physical condition:

Yes, a 40 year old, the elder statesman, 6’9″ 250 pound, Zdeno Chara once again wins the training camp pull-up challenge.

Next: Pastrnak is back, Jack! How the deal with the Boston Bruins is a win-win

Beat that, rookies.