Whether he likes it or not, age comes to mind almost as often as height does with Zdeno Chara these days.
He’s 38 and just suffered through one of those injury-packed seasons that reminded us that he’s, you know, human. Don’t expect the Boston Bruins behemoth to hang up his skates anytime soon, however, as he told the Toronto Sun.
“My contract goes for another three years and I’d like to play until then,” Chara 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.”
Chara did point out the bright side, especially for him: missing the postseason means all those extra weeks/months to heal up. Considering the Bruins’ two Stanley Cup Final runs and other nice playoff pushes, they’re used to accruing some serious mileage. Getting a breather cannot be the worst silver lining imaginable.
While his cap hit remains hefty, one perk for the Bruins is that Chara’s salary may just dwindle at a similar rate that his role may decline. His salary is $7 million next season, yet it goes down to $5 million in 2016-17 and $4 million in 2017-18.
With a no-movement clause, he can also make sure that he stays in Boston if he wants to.
Some might look at Chara’s tough year (not to mention his combination of wear-and-tear with size that implies a sharp decline) and fear the worst, but if anyone can bounce back, it’s the Big Z. The renowned workout warrior is getting extra time to train, after all.
(H/T to The Score.)