Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will be Slovakia's flag bearer during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February.
Chara, also captain of Slovakia's Olympic hockey team, will be the fourth Slovak athlete to carry his country's flag, joining Peter Stastny (1994), Robert Petrovicky (2002) and Ziggy Palffy (2010).
Defense - BOS
GOALS: 9 | ASST: 10 | PTS: 19
SOG: 101 | +/-: 5
The Olympic opening ceremony will be held Feb. 7, six days before Slovakia plays its first game against the United States. Bruins coach Claude Julien confirmed Thursday that Chara has been granted permission to leave the team and miss Boston's final game before the Olympic break, Feb. 8 against the Ottawa Senators.
"It's the least we can do for a guy who’s given us so much since he’s been here," Julien told reporters.
Chara has played in 45 of the Bruins' 46 games. He has nine goals and 10 assists while averaging a team-best 25:02 of ice time.