Zdeno Chara has been the leader and foundation of the Boston Bruins for the last 11 years, and it’s quite possible he’ll continue to be a fixture of the blue line into the future.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney told reporters Thursday at the beginning of training camp that the team has been in contact with its captain about a contract extension.

The 39-year-old defenseman is signed through the upcoming season with a salary cap hit of $4 million. He’s eligible to be an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2018.

It’s no surprise the team has kept in touch with Chara over an extension. Chara no longer is the top-five defenseman he was for many seasons, but he’s still a legit top-four blueliner capable of playing well against the opponent’s top players and logging tons of minutes. Chara’s durability also is impressive — he’s played 75 or more games in nine of his 10 non-lockout seasons in Boston.

His leadership and wisdom also make him a valuable mentor for the team’s young defenseman, something the Bruins have an abundance of right now.

In the short term, Chara will remain on the Bruins’ top paring entering the 2017-18 campaign. His partner could be rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy, as the two formed a solid duo during the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images