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Zdeno Chara thanks Bruins for their blessing to leave early for Sochi 01.17.14 at 12:57 am ET
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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.”

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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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.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Zdeno Chara to lead Slovakia in Sochi Olympics 01.07.14 at 8:51 am ET
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will serve the same role for his country next month, as he was announced as the captain of Slovakia’s team for the Sochi Olympics on Tuesday.

Slovakia’s roster is as follows:

Goalie: Peter Budaj, Jaroslav Halak, Jan Laco

Defense: Ivan Baranka, Zdeno Chara, Dominik Granak, Martin Marincin, Andrej Meszaros, Andrej Sekera, Michal Sersen, Lubomir Visnovsky.

Forward: Milan Bartovic, Marian Gaborik, Michal Handzus, Marcel Hossa, Marian Hossa, Tomas Jurco, Tomas Kopecky, Tomas Marcinko, Michel Miklik, Peter Olvecky, Richard Panik, Tomas Surovy, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Zaborsky.

For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Zdeno Chara to play Tuesday 12.31.13 at 12:41 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will be in the lineup Tuesday night against the Islanders after missing Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury.

While there is no word on what kept Chara out Saturday, he was able to practice Monday and took part in Tuesday’s morning skate. Afterwards, he said that he doesn’t feel the injury will limit him once he’s back on the ice.

“I wouldn’t want to go out there and be kind of a weak link,” Chara said. “I feel that I can still contribute and play my game.”

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins recall Nick Johnson at 10:47 am ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins recalled Nick Johnson from Providence on an emergency basis Tuesday, a suggestion that Carl Soderberg might not be able to play Tuesday night against the Islanders.

All Bruins were present for Tuesday’s morning skate, including Zdeno Chara, Dougie Hamilton and Loui Eriksson. Chara is working his way back from an undisclosed injury, while Eriksson began skating Monday.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Zdeno Chara: Dennis Seidenberg ‘such a big loss’ for Bruins 12.30.13 at 7:23 pm ET
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Bruins captain Zdeno Chara is working his way back from an undisclosed injury, but that isn’t the biggest concern on Boston’s blue line.

That would be the season-ending ACL/MCL tear to Dennis Seidenberg, who will have surgery on his knee and should be ready to go for the start of next season. In the meantime, the B’s are down their second-best defenseman and runner-up in time on ice.

“It’s very unfortunate,” Chara told WEEI.com. “I was on the bench when it happened, and we all saw what happened, and right there I kind of knew it was a very unlucky collision. He’s such a big loss for us. He’s a [guy] who’s playing in all situations, logging a lot of minutes. He’s a true warrior. To lose a guy like that always hurts, but it’s something that we’re going to have to play through. Obviously it’s going to be a chance for other guys to step up and fill that role.”

Seidenberg’s injury means that Chara will have a new postseason defense partner for the first time in a long time. Paired together from Game 3 of the 2011 Eastern Conference quarterfinals and onward, Chara and Seidenberg have teamed to make up a formidable top pairing that has shut down the top lines of some of the most offensively loaded teams in the NHL on the way to two Stanley Cup finals appearances.

Likely candidates to replace Seidenberg as Chara’s postseason partner would appear to be Dougie Hamilton and Johnny Boychuk, both of whom have played plenty alongside Chara during the regular season. Yet Chara isn’t looking that far ahead. After all, Chara himself and Hamilton both need to get healthy before the Bruins’ back end can begin to look like its usual self.

“I mean, we’ll see,” Chara said. “We’re far from the playoffs this time of the year. Right now we’re just really trying to focus on getting guys back, which will hopefully be soon. When we get a full lineup, then we’re going to be feeling what the ice times and positions are going to be like. But we’re obviously trying to get through tougher times right now with the injuries we have.”

Chara practiced for part of Monday’s session, with Claude Julien telling reporters on hand that his status for Tuesday’s game against the Islanders has yet to be determined.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Zdeno Chara misses Saturday’s game with injury 12.28.13 at 7:24 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara missed Saturday night’s game with an undisclosed injury and is day-to-day, according to the team.

With Chara out and Dennis Seidenberg now done for the season, the Bruins played both Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky Saturday against the Senators.

Saturday marked the first game Chara has missed this season, with Torey Krug now the only blueliner among the Bruins’ six opening night defensemen to not miss a game.

For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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