Morning Free Association: Zdeno Chara Zoom Chats

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The NHL has been on pause officially since March 12. During this time NHL players have been encouraged to self-isolate in a place of their choosing. Many foreign-born players have returned to their native countries. Not Zdeno Chara, who decided that while the NHL is on this extended and uncertain break, he would head to his home in Florida. There the kids have more room to roam about in beautiful weather and he can relax, train, and enjoy some un-New England-like weather.

Chara held a Zoom chat with Bruins season ticket holders the other day and talked about a few things — but not his contract situation. The current longest tenured captain of an NHL team is not stressing about his contract ending at the end of this season, whenever that is. Right now he’s focused on being the captain and maintaining contact with his teammates, as both a captain/ mentor and as a friend.

“It was quite challenging early on,” Chara said Tuesday during a town hall with Bruins season ticket holders. “After we got postponed, I think everybody was in a situation of unknown waters. We were listening to news? We were waiting to see what we’re going to be able to do as a team, as individuals? Would we be able to stay in Boston? Could we leave?

“And after four or five weeks I realized we hadn’t really talked that much. We had a few exchanged text messages as a group but nothing from that point. So the last two, three weeks, we’ve been doing regularly some Zoom calls and trying to see each other, talk to each other, stay connected and keeping ourselves updated, so it’s been a lot of fun.”

That first Bruins Zoom call was April 28. Organized by team leaders Chara and Patrice Bergeron, it was just another example of the ways where Chara makes sure to reach out to his teammates. It’s something he’s done on an individual level for a while, because he is team captain and because that’s what he feels is right.

As for the return to play, Chara is firmly in the “wants to play” category, presuming that the NHLPA and the NHL can come to an agreement as to how to reopen the season safely. Chara is even willing to play without fans in arenas, as he says it will take many players back to their roots.

“I just prefer to play hockey, to be honest with you. Whether it’s jumping into the playoffs or playing some sort of games to get ready for the playoffs, you’ve just got to go with the flow.”

Most players agree that it would be unusual to play without fans, Chara included. But while the defenseman admitted it would be weird playing in empty arenas, he equated it to early days of hockey.

“That’s what it’s going to be if we start, that’s for sure,” Chara said. “We won’t be able to have fans in the stands. But you know what? It will kind of bring memories from back in the years we played as kids. We didn’t have really any fans in the stands — I know once I came over to play juniors in the Western Hockey League I was amazed. There were five, six, 10 thousand fans watching games. But back home we didn’t have that many fans watching at all. So definitely, it’s going to be something different, something we’re going to have to get used to. But yeah, I guess that’s the only way we can continue to play at this point.

While he’s not stressed out about the season or his contract, Chara does want to continue to play beyond this season. At 43, he will have to think beyond his playing days at some point. When asked if he would want to become a coach or stay involved in the game, he didn’t rule it out.

Indeed.

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IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

I startled a bird going out my basement sliding door this morning.
Are the warbler’s coming back?
*crosses fingers*

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Oooh, I forgot – yesterday was the seventh anniversary of the worst decision of my sport-watching life.

I decided to go to bed when they went 4-1 down, five minutes into the third period!

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

Down by 3 partway through the 3rd period?
Against the mighty Leafs?
Dang, how will our heroes get out of this pickle?
chuckle bear hockey

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Now I’m picturing the pep talk to ignite the comeback: “Well golly gee guys, we sure have gotten ourselves into a sticky wicket here. Let’s pull up our britches and go score them there goals!”

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. I think we might finally has spring?

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

Don’t jinx it!

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Gday folks.

Love Big Zee! You get the impression he has a very high hockey IQ, as well as a good rapport with other players, so it’s easy to see him going into coaching. Being in charge of PK would be an obvious starting point!

Stripes
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Stripes

Hey All!
Zee is the man. We’ll just have to see what happens after the season is over. Once we all gave up on the season, Bettman says he’s confident it will happen. A month from now? Whatevs.
Looks like a beautiful day for some surfing. Woo hoo!

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

I’d like to see the season completed but it would be strange to carry on from where they left off. Go straight to the playoffs? Maybe, but the bubble teams wouldn’t agree to that, surely.

Maybe try could arrange some regional tournaments, to keep travel down. It won’t be easy to sort out, that’s for sure.

Looks like a beautiful day for some surfing. Woo hoo!

Pretty chilly here today. Played some darts earlier, on my outdoor oche, but it gets pretty tough when you can’t feel your fingers!