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Zdeno Chara to leave Bruins early to carry Slovakia’s flag in Olympics

01.16.14 at 1:28 pm ET
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DALLAS — Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will carry Slovakia’s flag in the Olympics next month, a major honor for a player who had previously been named the captain of the team his country will send to Sochi.

The one drawback for the Bruins is that the opening ceremonies are on Feb. 7, and given that the Bruins have games on Feb. 6 (Blues) and Feb. 8 (Senators) leading up to the Olympic break, he is likely to miss two contests for the Bruins.

Claude Julien said on Thursday that he and Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli gave Chara their blessing to miss some time in order for him to get to Sochi early.

“He talked to us about that, came to Peter and I and addressed it,” Julien said. “Peter approved it and [he] certainly [had] my support. When you look at what he’s done with this club, I think it’s an easy decision to make. You’re carrying your country’s flag at the Olympics and, and even if he misses a game, maybe two, I think that’s the least we can do for a guy who’s given us so much since he’s been here.”

This will be Chara’s third time competing in the Olympics.

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