Breaking: Details of Chara’s new contract revealed

NHL insider Chris Johnston lays out Big Z’s bonus structure and cap hit for 2018-19.

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In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins officially announced a contract extension for captain Zdeno Chara earlier today:

Chara’s new deal will pay him an annual salary of $5 million next season, but there’s still the matter of those “incentives”. What exactly are they and what will they cost the Bruins against the salary cap?

Well, Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston managed to uncover the conditions of Chara’s new deal, check it out:

Chara’s new contract calls for $5 million in salary next season and includes an easily achievable $1.25-million bonus if he plays 10 games, according to a source. The Bruins captain can earn an additional $250,000 bonus if the team qualifies for the playoffs in 2018-19 and another $250,000 if it wins the Stanley Cup.
All told, the deal could be worth as much as $6.75-million – a nice bump given that he’ll take home $4 million this season as part of a back-diving, seven-year contract he signed in October 2010.

So it’s probably pretty safe to assume that the Bruins will be on the hook for at least $6.5 million for Chara next season. They’ll gladly pay the extra $250,000 if Chara manages to hoist the Cup once again.

What do you think? Is a 41 year old Zdeno Chara at $6.5 million a good deal? Clearly he’s not the player he once was, but the big man single handedly runs the Bruins’ penalty kill and is the heartbeat of its entire squad. He’s one of the most driven athletes in the NHL and is unquestionably one of the best leaders in NHL history.

Bruins nominate Backes for Masterton Award

The Boston chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PWHA) have officially named Boston Bruins forward David Backes as the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy.

The award, given out annually to the NHL player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey”, will be presented this June at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Each of the NHL’s 31 teams has a player nominated by the local chapter of the (PWHA), but the list is whittled down to just three official nominees by the NHL in advance of the award ceremony.

No doubt about it, if there’s one player who has persevered through this season it’s Backes. The veteran winger has had both his mental and physical strength tested this season after suffering through a debilitating illness and a devastating injury.

First, Backes underwent emergency surgery back in November to remove part of his colon after a complicated bout of diverticulitis. Then just last week we suffered a nasty laceration just above his knee courtesy of an accidental skate cut from Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Yanni Gourde.

Ouch. That’s ugly.

To say that this season has been a nightmare for the 33 year old veteran is an understatement. But as you might expect, he’s not taking any personal credit for his ability to stick things out. “I’ve been fortunate to be surrounded by good doctors, good people, family, support, people praying for me to get better … and be a member of a team that’s doing good things this year,” he said upon hearing about the nomination.

Classy words from a classy player. Congrats on your nomination, David. You’ve earned it. Now heal up and get back in there in time to help our boys bring home another Cup.