The Boston Bruins’ captain, Zdeno Chara, enters his 22nd NHL season as at 42-years old. But apparently, not much can stop him. Not even a broken jaw could prevent him from playing in the Stanley Cup Final action.
Now, the Bruins captain enjoys summer in his home, Slovakia. Until September, he still has some time to fully recover from his wounds and surgeries. For the Slovak media, Zdeno Chara commented on many interesting topics.
“It was very painful, but it’s maybe just me not feeling it as much,“said Chara of his broken jaw. “The worst came after surgeries, then I felt it the most. Until then, while playing, it wasn’t as bad. I had two surgeries just wiring my mouth. After four weeks everything was removed and I started a recovery. I think it’s going pretty nicely.”
So many injuries, one could just recall his knee issues from late 2018. What could possibly stop Zdeno Chara? Will this be his last season?
“I don’t think so. I’m doing everything possible to maintain playing for as long as I can. My training, practice, special plant-based diet,” Chara said. “Everything helps to keep me fresh and healthy. If I feel good, I will keep playing beyond the next season as well.”
The Bruins captain admitted he is taking things one day at a time.
“But I’m rather setting a short-term goal, for now,” Chara said.
Maybe, Chara gets some motivation from his former Boston teammate, Jaromir Jagr. The Czech legend keeps playing hockey in the Czech Republic, even at 47.
“Yes, often I talk to him,” Chara said. “It’s just so nice to see his enthusiasm and will to dedicate himself and play hockey even at this age.”
As of the plans for the upcoming season, he hopes to be going full strength.
“I don’t think I will need a full face shield for the next season,” Chara said. “It’s true, the jaw still hurts, but I hope no puck will ever hit me again.”
Can Chara end his career outside the NHL?
“I don’t think so. I can’t imagine being without my family or moving it to play, let’s say, in Sweden, where I have already played before,” Chara said. “I don’t know what will happen, but it’s likely I retire as an NHLer.”
Chara is still trying to figure out what he will do after hockey.
“I have no idea, leaving all the doors opened. I can see myself being a speaker, motivator, coach, businessman. I just cannot say right now,” Chara said. “One thing is sure – I don’t want to be a politician or doing any advertising for alcohol or tobacco, never.”
Last season, the Bruins had a very special guest in their locker room. None other than Conor McGregor.
“Before I met him, I couldn’t watch him. I couldn’t stand him. He seemed like a very arrogant person,” Chara said about McGregor. “But when I met him and talked to him personally, I got to understand that his sport needs such a personality. He needs to create conflict.”
Chara compared hockey to mixed martial arts, understanding what McGregor needs to do with such infrequent appearances.
“After all, he doesn’t have matches every second day as we do. He has to sell and get attention,” Chara said. “You need to understand his position first. Looking from outside, you would deem he is crazy. But in fact, he is a pretty normal guy, who just tries to take care of his family. We are still in contact with Conor.”
Chara and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also stay in touch. While Brady is slammed when it comes to his schedule, the two Boston sports mainstays try to catch up whenever they can.
“Usually, we text or call. We don’t have much time for personal meetings. In the offseason, Tom is an incredibly busy person. After all, his wife is a model and they have a very busy life of celebrities,” Chara said. “But for me, it’s great to have such mega-star friends, to whom I can talk and stay in touch with. After all, they are just normal people trying to succeed in their job, just as me.”