Chara chose Prague, in part, because it is roughly a four-hour drive to his home in Trencin, Slovakia. He had in mind that he could spend some of his off hours zipping between rink and relatives. If he had to be away, being home felt like a reasonable alternative. But downtime has been little, allowing him but one trip to Trencin.
“It was so short that I only had time for lunch with my mom, and went out for dinner with my friends,’’ he said, laughing again, a good plan gone awry. “I basically slept over and then drove back the next morning. That was it.’’
For now, and for who knows how long, Chara waits. The league in which he usually makes his living has gone cold, colder than the biting winter wind that will soon whip off Prague’s Vltava River. The NHL lockout started six weeks ago. It appears destined to go at least five more. Meanwhile, a favorite son of Slovakia plays for a Russian-owned team in a Czech city that for years was ruled by the Soviet hammer and sickle.
“Kind of foggy and rainy, and getting really cold,’’ said the transplanted Bostonian, summing up the view out his window in Prague. “And the forecast is saying it’s going to be colder and colder from now on.’’
Kevin Paul Dupont’s ‘‘On Second Thought’’ appears on Page 2 of the Sunday Globe Sports section. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.