Breaking news this morning as the Boston Bruins have announced a contract extension for captain Zdeno Chara.
The deal is a one-year contract worth $5 million plus bonuses. More details to come.
UPDATE: The Bruins have officially released a public statement on the signing. See below.
BOSTON - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, March 28, that the team has signed defenseman Zdeno Chara to a one-year contract extension through the 2018-19 season worth $5 million, plus an additional $1.75 million in performance-based incentives.
Both Sweeney and Chara will hold a press conference in Legends at TD Garden today at 4:30 p.m. Media interested in attending should enter through the back security entrance and proceed to Level 3.
Chara, who is in his 20th NHL season and 12th season with Boston in 2017-18, has appeared in 68 games this year, recording seven goals and 16 assists for 23 points with a plus-26 rating (T-9th, NHL) while averaging a team-high 23:00 TOI/game.
The 41-year-old defenseman has led the Bruins to a postseason berth in eight of his 11 seasons with the team, including a Stanley Cup Championship in 2010-11. He ranks seventh in franchise history in games played (888), and third in points by a defenseman (452) behind Hall of Famers Ray Bourque (1,506) and Bobby Orr (888).
Chara, who is the second-oldest active player in the league, is also the longest-tenured captain in the NHL, having worn the "C" for the Bruins since his first season in Boston in 2006-07. Standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 250 pounds, he is also the tallest player to ever play in the NHL. Among active NHL players, Chara ranks fifth in games played (1,418), third in plus/minus (plus-244), first in penalty minutes (1,837), tied for second in shorthanded points (35), 11th in shots (3,073), first in time on ice (34,367:29) and 10th in hits (2,150). He also ranks eighth among active players in postseason games played (147), second in postseason plus/minus (plus-34), second in postseason penalty minutes (188), eighth in postseason hits (361) and first in postseason time on ice (3,966:08).
Over his 20-year NHL career, Chara has received several individual accolades. He was awarded the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman in 2008-09, after tallying a career-high 19 goals and 31 assists in 80 games with Boston. He was the recipient of the Mark Messier Leadership Award in 2010-11 for his exemplary leadership both on and off the ice. He was named to the NHL First All-Star Team three times (2003-04, 2008-09, 2013-14), the Second All-Star Team four times (2005-06, 2007-08, 2010-11, 2011-12), and was selected to play in the NHL All-Star Game five times (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12). He was also the recipient of the Golden Puck as Slovakia's Player of the Year three times (2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12).
Chara has represented his home country of Slovakia in international play on several occasions, including three Olympics (2006, 2010, 2014), in which he has posted one goal and five assists in 17 games. Most recently, he served as alternate captain for Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, notching two goals in six games to help lead the team to a second place finish to Team Canada.
The Trencin, Slovakia native was originally selected by the New York Islanders in the third round (56th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.
Cassidy offers update on Grzelcyk
In case you missed it, Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk was absolutely railroaded from behind by Winnipeg Jets defenseman Josh Morrisey late in the second period of the Bruins’ 5-4 shootout loss last night.
Morrissey drove Grzelcyk’s head right into the yellow dasher for no apparent reason and received a five minute major for the dirty hit. Here’s the play in question:
Ugly stuff. Good on Bruins veteran Tommy Wingels for stepping up and coming to Grzelcyk’s defense here. Still… the damage had been done. Grzelcyk remained motionless on the ice for some time before medical staff were able to assist him off the ice. He didn’t return for the 3rd period and is questionable moving forward. After last night’s loss Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy met with the assembled media and offered little in the way of an update on Grzelcyk’s health:
It remains to be seen how long the man they call Grizz is out of the Bruins’ lineup. As with any head injury, you just never know how long it’ll take to fully recover. The 24 year old defenseman could be good to go for tomorrow’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning or he could be done for the season. Again, with head injuries you just never know.
All the best, Grizz. Rest up and get back to being healthy. The B’s are going to need all hands on deck this postseason.