We all know who will be the next captain of the Boston Bruins.
The team has not made an official announcement, but the clear choice is Patrice Bergeron.
Zdeno Chara has spent the last 14 seasons as the Bruins' captain, but the veteran defenseman ended his tenure in Boston on Wednesday when it was announced he agreed to sign a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals.
Not since Nicklas Lidstrom took over the "C" after Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman retired in 2006 has a player been more prepared and qualified for this type of role than Bergeron.
Chara spoke to reporters on a Zoom call Thursday for the first time as a member of the Capitals, and he's very confident that Bergeron will be a tremendous captain for the Bruins.
“Absolutely, no question: Patrice is going to be the next captain of the Boston Bruins,” Chara said. “I think everybody knows that. He's absolutely the right person to have as the captain. He's been part of the Bruins organization for 15 or 16 years now, and he's done so much for the team, the organization and the community. He’s going to be an unbelievable captain and leader.
"He's obviously well-proven in crunch time to deliver and the impact he has on the players, teammates, coaches, fans and everyone in the community is tremendous. I can’t imagine anybody else to be the captain. I'm truly very happy he's going to be the next captain. He really deserves it. I can’t thank him enough for everything he’s done for the Bruins and me, personally, supporting our vision and leading together in Boston. I'm very happy for him.”
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney confirmed Thursday the team will announce a new captain for the upcoming season. He also noted the decision on who to choose is "obvious."
"Yes, we expect to have a captain. We will allow this some time to breath for Zdeno and his decision," Sweeney said.
"We’ll make a decision moving forward, I think it’s an obvious decision and one that we’ll make in a respectful manner at an appropriate time. But I think it is important to allow this moment, as raw as it is, to let it play out for the time being as we get on the doorstep to training camp. But we will do that in the right and appropriate manner."
Bergeron has played for the Bruins since the 2003-04 campaign. He's one of hockey's biggest winners and a member of the Triple Gold Club, which includes a World Championships gold medal, an Olympic gold medal and a Stanley Cup title.
His leadership skills are elite and the respect he has from his teammates and rivals is immense.