Zdeno Chara will one day have his career honored in the Hockey Hall of Fame, but the veteran defenseman plans on playing next season.
The Boston Bruins captain is now an unrestricted free agent for the first time since 2006 -- when the B's began their franchise turnaround by signing him.
Chara has played 22 seasons in the NHL, with the last 14 coming in Boston. It's uncertain whether he'll return to the Bruins, and his agent told TSN's Pierre LeBrun on Friday that "numerous teams" have reached out during the first day of NHL free agency.
The 43-year-old defenseman made it clear after the Bruins were eliminated from the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs that he wanted to continue his career with the Original Six franchise.
"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 game skills with the younger players and my teammates," Chara said on Sept. 3. "That hasn’t changed. I’m committed, so we’ll see what’s going to happen next.”
Chara isn't the only free agent situation the Bruins front office must sort out over the coming days and weeks. Boston has two other defensemen -- Torey Krug (UFA) and Matt Grzelcyk (RFA) -- hitting free agency, as well as top-six forward Jake DeBrusk (RFA), among others.