What’s better than a 40-year-old defenseman who plays a bunch of minutes?
That’s super easy. A 41-year-old or 42-year-old defenseman who plays a bunch of minutes!
That’s what the Boston Bruins want. That’s what they need. And guess what? That’s what the Bruins are going to get. Big bad Don Sweeney made that decision final on Wednesday when he agreed to an extension with defenseman Zdeno Chara. Let’s be honest, did I even have to say it was Chara? There’s not many other guys out there who fit that bill.
So yeah, Chara will be back next season on a one-year $5 million contract. He will also have some incentives in his contract so if he plays well, he could earn an additional $1.75 million. So, essentially, he will likely end up being one of the highest paid defenseman in the game next season. Right now, he is in the final year of a seven-year deal worth $45.5 million, but the money will keep pouring in, it seems.
And why wouldn’t it for the second oldest player in the league? He’s actually playing really well, for an old man.
Through 68 games this season, Chara had 23 points and a plus-26 rating while playing 23 minutes per game. His time on ice rate was a team-best. So in other words, the 20-year veteran is still the go-to defenseman for a team who is not only going to make the playoffs, but could potentially be the No. 1 seed. That’s pretty incredible.
Currently, Chara ranks third all-time in points for a defenseman on the Bruins (452) behind Ray Bourque (1,506) and Bobby Orr (888). Granted, they are WAY ahead of him, it’s still a good conversation to be in, right? The answer is yes.
After next year, it might be all over for him, so appreciate it while you can.