WILMINGTON — Fifteen members of the Bruins took to the ice Tuesday for the team’s first captain’s practice. Players scrimmaged and partook in drills before meeting with the media. One of the more popular questions was how much longer the captain, defenseman Zdeno Chara , would be a member of the team. Chara’s contract expires after the season and negotiations haven’t reached the point of a deal being imminent. Given that Chara will likely receive a long-term contract worth big money, he said that the Ilya Kovalchuk  saga may be a reason as to why the sides have waited before getting serious in talks.
“The investigations and the new rule between the NHL  and NHLPA about long-term contracts kind of put everything on a pause,” Chara said. “We’ll see what happens.”
The new rule, put into place last week, prevents teams from circumventing the salary cap by tacking on extra years at minimal dollars in order to create a manageable cap hit. Getting top players under contract may be a bit trickier in regards to making both sides happy, but Chara is just glad that his camp and the Bruins know how to approach the negotiations.
“At least both sides know what the rules are, and going to into the new CBA it’s going to be very important to have these rules already set,” Chara said.
Chara added that if his negotiations on a new pact spill over into the season, he will remain focused in leading a team that he said “improved again” over the season. As a result, he wasn’t afraid to tip his hand on what he hopes will happen.
“Of course, I want to stay in Boston,” Chara said. “I want to be part of this team for, if possible, the rest of my career.”