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The Bruins and defenseman Zdeno Chara have been together for four years, and hours before they entered their fifth season together, the B’s inked their 6-foot-9 captain to a long-term extension.
Chara, who was set to become a free agent after this season, signed a new seven-year contract worth $45.5 million, according to Sportsnet. The deal will take the 33-year-old through the 2018-19 season, when he’ll be 41. While he has said he wants to play until he’s 45, this is a good start toward accomplishing that goal.
While you may be wondering how this affects the Bruins financially moving forward, Peter Chiarelli played his cards right. He gave Chara more money, but spread it out over seven years. This year, Chara’s cap hit is $7.5 million, while next year it will be $6.5M. The $1M in extra savings can go a long way.
”He’s said all along Boston is the only place he wants to be, he’s committed to bringing the Cup to Boston, and he’s going to be around for a very long time in hopes of making that happen,” Chara’s agent Matt Keator told the Boston Globe.
Chara is the team’s captain, and while he had somewhat of a letdown year offensively in 2009-10 (only 7 goals on a career-high 242 shots), he has been a rock on the defensive end for the Bruins. Now, for at least most of his new contract, they will not have to worry who their top defenseman and Norris Trophy candidate is.
With Bergeron and now Chara signed, the Bruins can focus on the future, which may be bright as long as Marc Savard returns healthy and Tyler Seguin can live up to the hype (which it appears he will be able to).