39-Year-Old Defenseman – Boston Bruins
Zdeno Chara Contract Information:
Signed a seven-year contract extension with the Bruins in October 2010.
Chara (lower body) is back in the lineup for Monday's game against the Panthers, Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel reports.
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Zdeno Chara: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Chara, whose 2014-15 campaign was slowed by knee woes stemming from an October injury, finished up the season with a subpar 20 points and 42 PIM in 63 games, with the blueliner acknowledging that he wasn't skating at 100 percent when he returned to action in December. During the upcoming season, Chara plans to wear a brace on his left knee while continuing to play on a balky PCL ligament that has at least been stabilized. On the plus side, Chara didnít require surgery on the knee this offseason, which should allow the fitness-minded veteran to be as close to full strength as possible in advance of the 2015-16 season. At the age of 38, Charaís best days are likely behind him, but when healthy, the 6-foot-9 rearguard is a towering defensive presence, featuring a massive reach and surprisingly solid puck skills for such a big man. Whether heís used up front as a giant screen to create havoc for goalies or on the point, where his booming shot is fearsome, Chara is a mainstay on the Bruinsí power play. As long as he remains in such a role, he'll continue to provide fantasy value on some level.
The Bruinsí hulking captain finished the 2013-14 regular season with 17 goals, 40 points and a plus-25 rating in 77 games, en route to finishing as the runner-up in the NHLís Norris Trophy voting. At 37 years old, the clock may soon start ticking on his prime, but thus far, the fitness-minded Chara has shown little sign of slowing down. Heading into the coming season, Chara remains arguably the NHLís premier shutdown defender, with an imposing physical presence aided by his extraordinary reach. Moreover, Chara is surprisingly deft with the puck, and whether heís using his booming shot from the point or setting up screens in front of the net, heís as much of a force on the Bruinsí power play as he is while logging extensive even-strength minutes.
The hulking 36-year-old remains one of the NHL's top shut-down defenders and given how fitness-minded he is, Chara shows no signs of slowing down at this stage of his career. The Bruinsí captain is coming off a 19-point effort in 48 regular season contests, but he did manage 15 points in 22 post-season games. He still possesses a booming shot that should result in better offensive numbers this coming season, given the extensive ice time he sees while skating both a regular shifting and manning the point on the Bís power play.
Chara, who won the Norris Trophy in 2009, scored 12 goals and added 40 assists for a career-high 52 points in 79 games this past season. He also recorded a spiffy plus-33 rating, while continuing in his role as one of the NHL's top shut-down defenders. While the big guy is no doubt smarting from the Bruinsí early playoff elimination, from an individual standpoint his 2010-11 season was a resounding success, resulting in a third place finish in the Norris voting. At 35, he shows no signs of slowing down at this point in his career, especially given the rigorous fitness/conditioning regimen he keeps.
Chara, who recorded 14 goals and 44 points in 81 games, led the NHL with a plus-33 mark, a figure that is most impressive given the fact that he is so often deployed against opponents' top offensive threats. He continued his shutdown ways in the playoffs, compiling a postseason high plus-16 rating. Chara will return to anchor the B's blue line in 2011-12, where he will reprise his role as an ice-time-eating physical force. About the only flaw we can find in his game is that Chara's deliberate windup sometimes prevents his rocket of a shot from being as effective a weapon as it could be. If it gets through a few more times next season, resulting in a handful more points, then Chara could easily move up in the Norris Trophy voting next year. He finished third this past season, as it is.
The B's towering blueliner finished the 2009-10 season with 44 points, six off his Norris Trophy-winning mark of the previous campaign. Chara managed to put up a career-high 242 shots on goal last year, but his seven goals represented a significant drop-off from the 19 he put up in 2008-09. The reason? He spent most of the season playing with a balky left hand, a nagging issue that took some of the mustard off his rocket shot. The good news is that Chara should be fully healthy for the start of training camp ... and pay attention here ... he's in a contract year. Big Z will continue to anchor the Bruins' blue line, and he figures to benefit from having a full season of either Dennis Seidenberg or Johnny Boychuk (players he had good chemistry with last year) playing alongside him from the get-go.
The Bís hulking blueliner with the mile-long reach recorded 19 goals and 50 points and a plus-23 rating in 80 games this past season, en route to beating out Detroit star Nicklas Lidstrom and Washington's high-scoring Mike Green for the Norris Trophy as the NHLís top defenseman. Chara is no Bobby Orr in terms of skill, but his all-around prowess and defensive dominance combine to make him the leagueís top shutdown defender. His big shot also ensures that he will see power play time and continue to put up fantasy-worthy numbers.
While Big Z wasn't exactly a total bust in his first year with the Bruins, the return on the team's investment in the second year of his free agent deal was much higher on the second go-around as he performed at a Norris Trophy finalist level. Using his reach advantage and "moves well for a big man" skills, he had his best year offensively (17-34-51) and improved his plus/minus from minus-21 in 2006-07 to plus-14. Offseason shoulder surgery, which he will be fully recovered from come training camp, should help him regain some zing on his booming slapper, which could help him zero in on the 20-goal plateau.
Admittedly, Chara had a tough time adjusting to his new environment last season, but his 43 points did match the career-high he set from the previous year. The biggest decline on Chara's stats sheet was in the plus-minus department, as he went from plus-17 in 2005-06 to minus-21. Otherwise, he was still solid in PIMs (100) and power-play points (26, also a career-high). Bottom line, the guy is a workhorse and he will see monster minutes again this year -- count on 28-plus per game. That's the kind of d-man you want on your fantasy roster.
Chara is a hard-shooting, ice-munching monster will win a Norris Trophy very soon; in fact, he'll probably be short-listed for it this season. He won't be the most offensively gifted Bruins defender but he'll be an outstanding talent -- on the ice and in the fantasy arena. Expect a 40 to 45-point season with well over 100 PIMs and lots of time spent on the power play (albeit, he's likely on the second unit).
Z is playing for a new contract. Lookout! He's a near-lock for 45+ points, 110+ PIMs and an impressive plus/minus total.