Prague, CZE --
Despite the 5-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Boston Bruins can look one big bright spot in their day -- a 6'9, 255-pound bright spot in the guise of their captain Zdeno Chara
, who will remain on the Boston blueline through the 2017-18 season.
Chara, who re-signed with Boston on Saturday, just before the Bruins took on the Phoenix Coyotes in their season opener as part of the NHL Premiere weekend in Prague, said that he thought the negotiations would produce the result that he wanted all along.
"I was very confident," said the all-star defenseman. "I knew I would get this done and that I would be a Bruin."
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said he thought that it was important that the club re-sign Chara as well as Patrice Bergeron
before the rigorous NHL regular season began.
"From our perspective, these are two very important pieces of our team and very important individuals on-and-off the ice," said Chiarelli from a dais in Prague's O2 Arena.
"There's uncertainty as the season progresses, as far as trying to retain these types of players, as they get closer to the free market, you never know what's going to happen.
"It's also an extreme show of good faith for both side to get it done now, meaning both sides want to get a deal done," added Chiarelli. "We want [Zdeno Chara
] and [Patrice Bergeron
] to be part of the Bruins for a while and they want to remain with the Bruins, so it's a typical thing, when two sides want something to happen."
Like Bergeron on Friday, on Saturday evening Chara said that there was only one outcome that would have satisfied him and that was to remain with the Bruins.
"Since I arrived in Boston...with Peter, that was my goal -- to establish this team and become contenders," said Chara. "Obviously, I want to be a big part of it.
"It's a very solid organization and I'm very proud to be a Bruin. I feel very comfortable around the whole team, coaching staff, obviously management and players.
"I'm very proud to be a Bruin and obviously my first priority and goal was to stay in Boston, so I'm very thankful to the Jacobs family...Peter, Cam [Neely] and all the players."
In the end, Chiarelli said that that both sides "gave a little to get it done."
"I think it's a huge commitment, again, from both sides,î said Chiarelli. "From Zee's side and from teh ownership side, to enter into this type of contract.
"So we worked on it while we were here and we were able to get it done."