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Zdeno Chara ready to leg it out vs. Islanders 09.23.11 at 11:58 am ET
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will be among the B’s making their preseason debuts Friday night at TD Garden when the defending Stanley Cup champions hope the Islanders. After an injury scare earlier in the week, he’s happy he won’t have to watch it from the press box.

Chara was hit in the inside of the left leg in Monday’s practice and left the skate with a contusion. He was among those to skip Tuesday’s black and white scrimmage and was left off Wednesday night’s roster for the preseason opener, though he returned to practice that same day.

“I’m very glad that it wasn’t [serious]. Obviously, it’s something that you’ll worry about when it does happen, but I was pleased in a good way that it wasn’t as bad as it looked,” Chara said Friday. “It took all the necessary steps to make sure it was nothing major. It isn’t, so we’ll have to still treat it. Nothing really major.”

Chara said that as he continues to play and practice, he’ll monitor the leg and treat where necessary.

“You have to do different things,” he said. “Obviously, icing is one of them. Doing a little bit of other things that make the swelling go down and away. Obviously, the pain is just a factor that I can handle. As far as the swelling and being able to have the full range of motion, that’s the key.”

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Zdeno Chara returns to practice, Joe Corvo absent 09.21.11 at 11:27 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Just hours before the B’s preseason opener in Ottawa, the team held a pair of practices Wednesday morning at Ristuccia Arena. The first hour-long session featured the players dressing for the contest, with non-game players skating in the second session. (For Wednesday’s roster, click here).

Zdeno Chara, who is not playing, returned to the ice for the first time since leaving Monday’s practice with a left leg contusion. Joe Corvo, who left Tuesday’s black and white scrimmage with a lower body injury, did not practice.

Third-round pick Anthony Camara was not on the ice, suggesting he may have been cut from camp. We’ll have more on that after Claude Julien speaks to reporters.

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Zdeno Chara among those not playing in black and white scrimmage 09.20.11 at 3:22 pm ET
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The Bruins said Zdeno Chara was day-to-day after getting hit in the left leg with a shot Monday, and it turns out Tuesday will be a day off for the Bruins’ captain.

Chara is among the group of Bruins players not on the roster for Tuesday night’s black and white scrimmage. Other NHL guys not playing include Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron, Shawn Thornton and Chris Kelly.

Here are the rosters for the scrimmage, which will be played this year at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center:

BLACK: Gregory Campbell, Tyler Seguin, Daniel Paille, Andrew Ference, Colby Cohen, Matt Bartkowski, Dennis Seidenberg, Nathan McIver, Steve Kampfer, Zach McKelvie, Rich Peverley, Johnny Boychuk, Kirk MacDonald, Lane MacDermid, Benoit Pouliot, Jamie Tardif, Jamie Arniel, Alexander Khokhlachev, Kyle MacKinnon, Calle Ridderwall, Anton Khudobin, Tim Thomas

WHITE: Joe Corvo, Milan Lucic, Jordan Caron, David Krejci, Jared Knight, Ryan Spooner, Zach Hamill, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Marc Cantin, Carter Camper, Craig Cunningham, Josh Hennessy, Brad Marchand, Chris Clark, Max Sauve, Anthony Camara, Ryan Button, David Warsofsky, Kevan Miller, Michael Hutchinson, Tuukka Rask

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Zdeno Chara: Loss of friend Pavol Demitra, former coach Brad McCrimmon ‘hard to swallow’ 09.08.11 at 12:56 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — It takes a lot to shake the biggest player in the league, but a day after the tragic plane crash that killed the members of the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, it was clear that the event had a major impact on Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara.

Among those killed in the crash were former Bruin Brad McCrimmon, who was the head coach of the KHL team and had previously coached Chara while the two were in the Islanders system, as well as longtime NHL forward and Slovakia native Pavol Demitra. Chara had ties to both men, so the crash hit close to home for the Slovakian defenseman.

“It was huge. Still. It’s horrible,” Chara Thursday said of how hard the last 24 hours-plus had been. “It’s just a tragedy that shook up the whole world and hockey world especially. We all feel bad about the players’ families and it’s something that is just hard to swallow.”

Demitra and Chara grew up in neighboring towns, as Chara hails from Trencin, with Demitra being born in Dubnica nad Vahom. The two grew up less than 20 minutes away from one another, but had a long-standing friendship.

“Pavel was a guy who was always easygoing, was always friendly with everybody and never really had a conflict with anybody,” Chara said of his late friend. “He was really a very favored and popular guy between other guys, and obviously we all know he was an extremely talented player.

“People probably don’t know dedicated a dad he was,” Chara continued. “He was always spending time with his kids and family, and I think that speaks for itself, too. He had offers from the NHL, but he chose to return back home and be there for his kids and his wife when they were going to school, and they chose the school system in Slovakia. It’s a very very said time right now.”

Demitra had a profound impact in the NHL for a former ninth-round pick, as he was a three-time All Star, three-time 30-goal-scorer, and the recipient of the Lady Byng in 2000. McCrimmon was chosen by the Bruins with the 15th overall pick in the 1979 draft, and after a long playing career became a successful assistant coach in the NHL. Chara said he’ll remember those lost not by their accomplishments, but by who they were as individuals.

Said Chara: “When you get to know players as [people], it’s just devastating.”

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Dougie Hamilton recalls both times he met Zdeno Chara 07.12.11 at 4:22 pm ET
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A picture that Dougie Hamilton took with one of his idols this past year perhaps best illustrates how much being drafted can change things.

Meeting Zdeno Chara was a thrill for Bruins' prospect Dougie Hamilton. (AP)

He won’t play in the NHL next season, but if he did, Hamilton would be the second-tallest defenseman on the Bruins. Having gained between a quarter of an inch and half an inch since the end of the season, the ninth overall pick in last month’s draft stands right around 6-foot-5.

Hamilton is used to being one of the taller guys out there, but he’s known since he was drafted that he won’t be the biggest Bruin. The Toronto native has long admired 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara, and the prospect met the Stanley Cup champion at the team’s development camp.

“He just said, ‘Hi, I’m Zee.’ I told him congrats, and he said ‘you too,’” recalled an excited Hamilton after camp concluded.

It wasn’t Hamilton’s first time meeting Chara, but the last time the two met, the circumstances were much different.

“I went down to the room after a game this year in Toronto and took a picture with him,” Hamilton said. “I kind of thought about that picture when I met him [at camp]. It’s pretty cool. You’re a fan, and you’re seeing him and taking pictures with him, and a couple months later you’re shaking his hand and could be his teammate one day. It’s definitely cool.”

Perhaps the next time a picture is taken of the two, they’ll both be on the ice at the team’s training camp. When he makes the big club in a year or two, Bruins fans can picture a rather large defensive pairing, should they skate together.

“He makes me feel small,” Hamilton, who needs to add around 20 pounds before he will be at optimal playing weight, said. “I don’t really feel small too often, but he definitely [makes it seem that way].”

Hamilton showed off his skills over the five-day development camp at Ristuccia Arena. He projects to be a top-pairing defenseman when he eventually reaches the NHL. The 18-year-old hopes to weigh between 210 and 220 pounds by then, with general manager Peter Chiarelli saying that 210 pounds “would be great.”

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Penguins sign Boris Valabik 07.03.11 at 1:59 pm ET
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The Bruins lost another free agent on Sunday, and though the player was big, the loss could hardly be described as such. The Penguins inked defenseman Boris Valabik, who was acquired with Rich Peverley in the Feb. 18 deal with Atlanta, to a one-year, two way deal on the third day of free agency.

Given the results it yielded, it would be hard not to give Bruins general manager two thumbs up for trading Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to Atlanta in a deal that landed the B’s Peverley. Yet Valabik proved to be nothing more than a throw-in in the deal, playing 10 games for Providence and totaling two assists and 24 penalty minutes. He had a minus-1 rating with the Baby B’s.

Valabik was chosen 10th overall by the Thrashers in the 2004 draft, but has made a minimal impact on the big stage since. He’s skated in 80 games, all of which were with the Thrashers, and totaled seven points (all assists) and 210 penalty minutes. At 6-foot-7 and 245 pounds, the Slovakia native is one of the biggest players in the league. He once fought the biggest when he took on fellow countryman and hero Zdeno Chara back in 2008.

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Montreal police to question Zdeno Chara over hit on Max Pacioretty 06.28.11 at 12:19 pm ET
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The police still intend to question Zdeno Chara over the play that ended Max Pacioretty's season. (AP)

In wake of Zdeno Chara‘s March 8 hit on Max Pacioretty in Montreal, police said a criminal investigation would be tricky at the time given that many of the people they’d need to speak to had seasons to finish.

Now that the season is over, it appears that Montreal police still intend to speak to Chara about the play, which sent Pacioretty’s head into a stanchion and left Habs fans calling the cops. The investigation will be conducted to determine whether there was criminal intent on the part of Chara, who had a history with Pacioretty due to runs the Habs rookie had taken at the B’s captain and his defensive partner on Feb. 9 in Steven Kampfer.

According to CBC News, Sgt. Ian Lafreniere has indicated the investigation is near completion, but that they still need to speak to Chara.

“We haven’t met Chara, we don’t have his version of the facts, and also at the end of it, [a report is] going to be presented to a crown prosecutor, and this is the person who will decide whether there will be some accusations,” he said.

Chara, who was given an interference major and tossed from the game, was not suspended for the play, and Pacioretty missed the rest of the season with head and vertebrae injuries. Pacioretty recently expressed his frustration with the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup given that he felt the Canadiens could have beaten the B’s in the first round if they had a healthy roster, one that would have included him had the play not occurred.

The play and the different reactions led to extra attention being placed on Chara, as well as the rivalry between the two teams. Prior to the March 24 meeting between the two clubs (their first meeting since the Pacioretty incident), multiple members of the Bruins suggested the injuries to Pacioretty weren’t as bad as initially stated, suggesting embellishment on the part of the Habs. Pacioretty had tweeted from a movie theatre days after the hit, which led to some questioning his concussion, as people with severe concussions generally can’t be around bright lights. After the B’s blanked the Habs on March 24, Mark Recchi, who most famously called out the Habs, said he had done so to create a distraction, thus taking pressure off of Chara.

The report states that Chara will be questioned in the coming weeks.

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