Bruins' Chara not planning to retire before end of current contract
Early retirement isn't an option for Zdeno Chara.
The Boston Bruins captain, who turned 38 on March 18, has three years remaining on his NHL contract, and fully intends to play through to the end of the 2017-18 season.
Failing to qualify for the playoffs only made him hungrier for more, he told Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun.
"My contract goes for another three years and I’d like to play until then," he said. "I think we still have a competitive team with some good young players. Being out of the playoffs just makes you want to get back there even more.
"You’d rather be playing at this time of year," he added. "But at the same time, it’s given me a chance to heal, and that’s important."
Chara was indeed banged up this past season, missing almost two months of action with a knee injury. He was also ruled out of the World Championship with an ankle fracture.
He did, however, average more than 23 minutes of ice time through 63 regular-season contests, scoring eight goals and adding 12 assists.
While not the force he once was on the Bruins' blue line, Chara remains a key piece in Boston. In the end, his ability to stay healthy, coupled with general manager Don Sweeney's ability to turn things around, will determine whether he's able to get another shot at success in the playoffs.
But hey, he's sure going to give it a go.
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