Zdeno Chara thanks Bruins for their blessing to leave early for Sochi
|01.17.14 at 12:57 am ET|
DALLAS – Zdeno Chara was both humbled and thankful as he discussed his role in the opening ceremonies of next month’s Sochi Olympics.
Chara was chosen to carry the Slovakian flag next month, and though it is a huge honor for the Bruins and Team Slovakia captain, it will force him to miss at least a game for the B’s, and possibly two.
The opening ceremonies are on Feb. 7, with the Bruins having games against the Blues on Feb. 6 and Senators on Feb. 8 leading up to the Olympic break. As such, Chara asked the Bruins about it prior to accepting the honor, with both Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien giving their blessing.
“Peter approved it and [he] certainly [had] my support,” Julien said. “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.”
Chara thanked the Bruins organization at length in speaking to the media after the Bruins’ 4-2 win over the Stars and said he wouldn’t have even considered leaving early if the Bruins took any issue with it.
“First of all, I would like to thank the Boston Bruins organization for making this happen, especially Mr. Jeremy Jacobs and Charlie Jacobs and obviously all of my teammates and the whole organization because they really made this all possible. I’m for sure thanking the Slovak Hockey Federation for giving me the honor. It’s something that’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and for sure I’m very humble and honored to do that.
“I think I did the right thing first asking the Boston Bruins organization if they would be OK with that. After I got the OK, basically it was kind of an easy process from there. Again, it’s something that I wouldn’t even think about selfishly to decide this without asking for permission. I’m very thankful and it’s a huge, huge honor.”
Chara said he will definitely miss the Senators game, but said he hopes to find a way to play against the Blues. Given that it’s in St. Louis and that a flight from St. Louis to Sochi is an estimated 12 1/2 hours, that might not be doable.
“We don’t know exactly the date [that I'll be leaving],” Chara said. “For sure I’m going to miss one game, but we’re working on possibly just missing one game, the last one. We’ll see how it goes.”
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