BOSTON — Zdeno Chara playing in his 1,500th game this season probably is an indication he’s closer to the end of his career than the start of it.
The Boston Bruins captain will turn 43-years-old next month, but still is playing at a high level, though how much longer he has left at this point remains to be seen. He has been signing one-year deals to stay with the Bruins the last couple seasons, and he’s set to hit free agency again this offseason.
Chara was honored Saturday for the milestones he’s reached this season ahead of the B’s 4-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes. After the game, he was asked how much longer he has left.
“It’s something that I haven’t thought about, I’m really being honest with you,” Chara said. “I’m keeping an open mind. I said it many times there are guys who are, obviously, a priority for this team. So they have to be signed probably before me, and we’ll see where we’re at. Obviously we have a lot (left in the regular season) and then playoffs, so we’ll see.”
Indeed, the Bruins do have plenty of work to do this offseason, especially with Torey Krug set to hit free agency. However, the last two years Chara has signed new deals in late March, so it’s not too far-fetched to think Don Sweeney and Co. might try to get something done before July 1 if they want to keep the captain in the fold.