Zdeno Chara says he wants to return: ‘I want to be a Boston Bruin’

Zdeno Chara is a free agent for the first time in his 14-year tenure with Bruins, but has made it clear he would like to return to Boston next season.
Zdeno Chara is a free agent for the first time in his 14-year tenure with Bruins, but has made it clear he would like to return to Boston next season. –John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe

Zdeno Chara made it clear he wants to return and play next season with the Bruins.

“I feel strong physically, and I’m positive, and I believe that I can still play this game and contribute to the team,” said the Bruins captain. “I want to stay in Boston. I want to be a Boston Bruin, and I want to continue to lead by example and share my experiences and my games skills with the younger players and my teammates.”

In each of the previous two seasons, the Bruins and Chara agreed to a one-year extension in the waning days of the regular season. No such deal was made this year for the 43-year-old defenseman. After the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning Monday night, NBC’s Doc Emrick suggested that it was the last time Chara would be in a Bruins uniform.

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“I’m committed to the Boston Bruins. I’m committed to the Boston fans and the city of Boston,” Chara said when asked about Emrick’s comments. “I’m excited about the future of this team.

“I expressed to my agent that I would like him to meet with the management. I’ve made that my priority. The sooner the better, and see what the future holds.”

Chara was not ready to say if he would look to play elsewhere if a deal cannot be reached.

“If it comes down to that, that’s something we can talk about later,” said Chara. “I love Boston. I love the city. I think we have the best fans in the world. I have no plans to move or go anywhere else, so we’ll see what the future holds.”

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