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Chara Will Stay East if He Chooses to Play in 2021-22

While he hasn’t yet decided if he will continue playing, Zdeno Chara is reportedly only interested in playing for a team out East.

Just hours after it was being reported that the St. Louis Blues had interest in free agent defenceman Zdeno Chara, reporter Andy Strickland took to Twitter saying that the six-foot-nine rearguard will stay out East if he does play this upcoming season, in order to stay closer to his family.

Chara, 44, chose to sign a one-year deal with the Washington Capitals last offseason after having spent the previous 14 with the Boston Bruins. In 55 games with his new team he managed two goals and 10 points while averaging over 18 minutes of ice time per game. Caps general manager Brian MacLellan hasn’t ruled out signing the 2008-09 Norris Trophy winner, but has acknowledged it will be tough given their salary cap situation.

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Another option many fans are discussing is the possibility of a return to the Bruins. This again seems unlikely as the Bruins have limited cap space, but perhaps they make a move in order to bring back Chara. It certainly wouldn’t be the worst decision to make given that many fans were disappointed with how the organization handled the situation with him last offseason.

Given that he is the oldest player in the NHL, he is not nearly the same dominant force he once was. However, he proved with the Capitals this past season that he is still a capable player on a third pairing. On top of that, he brings tremendous leadership abilities having served as the Bruins captain for in each of his 14 years with the club.

Zdeno Chara NHL
Zdeno Chara NHL

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, whether Chara does come back and play another season remains very much up in the air. After losing out in the playoffs he told media he was going to discuss things with his family and take some time to ponder retirement. As of now it appears he is still taking time to make a decision.

 If it is the end for him, it was a tremendous run. He has played in 1608 NHL games which ranks 13th all time. Over that span he has accumulated 207 goals and 666 points. He has also suited up for an additional 200 playoff games and helped lead the Bruins to a Stanley Cup victory in 2011.

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