BRIGHTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara has long been vocal about being inclusive and fostering an environment of togetherness within the Bruins dressing room that he’s captained for the last 13 years. That’s what makes him one of the NHL’s best captains during his era playing in the NHL and it’s what has made the Bruins a playoff team in 10 of the 13 seasons that he’s led the Black and Gold during an impressive tenure of leadership and success.
So it wasn’t a shock that the 42-year-old Chara reiterated that he doesn’t like the term “rookie” that tends to separate the first-year players from everybody else within the B’s dressing room, when he was asked about lending his learned experience to help younger D-men like Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.
“If I can make some small part of it by doing what I love to do and doing it every day… if that can help them to see that, then I’ll be more than happy for them to see that, and maybe learn something. If I can help them in any way I’d love to,” said Chara, while addressing the media following Monday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena. “Age doesn’t really separate the conversations or the personalities. I’ve been saying that for a long time.
“We are treating everybody the same way no matter if somebody is 18, or 40, or somebody has 1,000 games or is playing in their first game. We treat everybody with respect in the same way as everybody else in the locker room. I’ve said it many times. Since a very young age, I didn’t like the separation in a team between young players and older players, [or] players who have accomplished something or players that are just coming into the league. I don’t like to use the word ‘rookie.’ They are our teammates. I just don’t like to separate. I don’t think that’s the right thing to do. Once you’re a team, you’re a team regardless of the age, or accomplishments. We have to treat each other with respect and the same way.”
There are plenty of stories written these days about the power of Bruins leadership, and the big factor it plays in the success that Boston has enjoyed on its current run to the Stanley Cup Final. Chara gave a little peek behind the curtain to the B’s leadership group with his comments on Monday, and it’s pretty clear to see why Boston’s strong veteran leaders play such a big role in the B’s sustained success.
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