Bruins

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara just became the oldest active NHL player

Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara just became the oldest active NHL player

Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara is now the elder statesman of the NHL.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cullen, who will turn 43 in November, officially retired on Wednesday. Chara, as a result, has become the oldest active player in the league. Chara turned 42 on March 18 and is 136 days younger than Cullen.

Chara will continue playing at least through the 2019-20 season after signing a one-year, $2 million contract with the Bruins. The B's captain will turn 43 during upcoming season. The last 43-year-old to play for the Bruins was Mark Recchi during the 2010-11 campaign.

Chara made his NHL debut in 1997-98 for the New York Islanders. He has spent the last 13 seasons with the Bruins.

The oldest player in NHL history was a 52-year-old Gordie Howe in 1980.

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Bruins' Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug make NHL's list of Top 20 defensemen

Bruins' Charlie McAvoy, Torey Krug make NHL's list of Top 20 defensemen

Both the present and the future are indeed bright for the Boston Bruins, and the Black and Gold representation on the NHL Network’s “Top 20 defensemen right now” list is just further affirmation. Both 21-year-old Charlie McAvoy and 28-year-old Torey Krug ended up making the list of the top defensemen headed into the 2019-20 season.

McAvoy moved up five spots from his position as 19th on the list last summer, while Krug held strong at the 16th spot for the second year in a row after putting together a Conn Smythe-worthy postseason on Boston’s run to the Stanley Cup Final. On Sunday night’s NHL Network show highlighting the list, NHL Network analyst and three-time Stanley Cup champion Ken Daneyko had nothing but positive things to say about Krug’s place within the current pantheon of D-men.

“Don’t look at his stature, he can skate. We saw him in the playoffs bring some physicality. Helmet off, just flying into everybody,” said Daneyko of Krug. “I love guys that play the game that hard, and Torey Krug [has a] deceptively hard shot from the point. … [He] plays 10, 15 pounds heavier and two inches taller than he really is.”

McAvoy and Krug are in the top-20 list of defensemen right now, and they’ll also be among the highest paid D-men at this time next year. McAvoy is an unsigned restricted free agent who’s going to earn a handsome raise when he finally does sign a contract for this upcoming season and beyond. Krug has put together three straight 50-point seasons, and is entering the final year of his contract with the Bruins before he’ll become an unrestricted free agent.

In addition to McAvoy and Krug, teammates Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak ranked fourth and 10th, respectively, on NHL Network’s Top 20 Wings Right Now last week while Patrice Bergeron ranked seventh on Top 20 Centers Right Now two weeks ago.

Where does McAvoy rank on this year's '20 Under 25'?

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Zach Senyshyn: NHL action 'definitely lit a fire under me'

Zach Senyshyn: NHL action 'definitely lit a fire under me'

In the 2015 NHL Draft, the Boston Bruins took a winger by the name of Zach Senyshyn with their third of three consecutive first-round picks. Senyshyn, 18 at the time he was picked, was considered to be a bit of a reach with the No. 15 overall pick, as some scouting services had him graded as a second-round prospect.

For a few years, it did seem that the services may have been right about Senyshyn. He struggled to gain footing in the Bruins' organization. But last year, he finally made his long-anticipated NHL debut towards the end of the season. And in the action he saw, he performed well.

In two games for the Bruins, Senyshyn showcased his speed and was able to notch the first goal of his career (albeit an empty-netter) in that action. And getting time at the NHL level has sparked him to perform better ahead of the 2019-20 NHL season as he spoke about in a recent interview.

"It definitely lit a fire under me," Senyshyn said of his NHL playing time, via the Bruins official Twitter account. "When you get a taste of it and how close it really is, you get really excited for the upcoming season. For my summer training, it's made me a lot more passionate and really excited for the upcoming year."

Senyshyn did have some thrills last season, including getting to work with the Bruins during their run to the Stanley Cup Final. While he didn't log any postseason action, he did get to see how veterans prepare for key games up close and personal. And he is hoping that will help him to prepare as he battles for a spot on the Bruins' roster moving forward.

And speaking of Senyshyn's battle for a roster spot, Senyshyn noted a few things he wanted to do in order to ensure that he has a chance to make the squad this season.

"You know, I Just kinda worry about my own game and really be confident out there," Senyshyn said. "Know what I do well and play into my strengths and really just do whatever I can to help the team win."

Senyshyn will have a lot of competition for a spot on the Bruins roster, as new additions Par Lindholm and Brett Ritchie will be vying for spots on the regular roster as well. But if he can continue to show off his speed and shows better goal-scoring instincts, Senyshyn should have a chance to make the roster.

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