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Zdeno Chara wants to play for Bruins 'beyond this contract'

Captain can sign extension as of July 1; David Pastrnak can become restricted free agent

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara averaged 28:45 of ice time during the six-game loss to the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference First Round, proving that even at 40 years old he has a lot of hockey left.

The Bruins captain is hoping that means he'll be with Boston beyond the expiration of his contract, which ends after next season. Chara's NHL salary-cap charge will be $4 million next season, according to Cap Friendly, and he is eligible to sign a contract extension July 1.

 

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"Of course I would [want an extension]," Chara said Tuesday. "It's something that I want to continue to play. I take a lot of pride in my offseason training and being ready for every season. But again, it's something that probably management has to think about and make a decision on that. But I said it many times, I want to play, I would like to play beyond this contract, I want to still be very effective and still wanting to get better and improve and maintain my game and keep adding to my game."

The Bruins also have to deal with a contract for forward David Pastrnak, who had 70 points (34 goals, 36 assists) in 75 games. Pastrnak, who turns 21 on May 25, can become a restricted free agent July 1 but he said he hasn't thought about his status yet.

"Obviously I love it here, you know. This is where I started and where I got the opportunity to play in the NHL," he said.

Boston, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2014, played Ottawa without three injured defensemen -- Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Adam McQuaid -- for most of the series, and center David Krejci played two full games before sustaining a season-ending injury in Game 5.

Krug missed the series with a knee injury he sustained in the next-to-last game of the regular season April 6.

"I was really close (to returning)," Krug said. "I don't know if the doctors would've let me. But I was close, definitely if not Game 7, I would've started round two."

Video: TBL@BOS: Chara drills a blistering one-timer for PPG

Carlo sustained a concussion on a hit by Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in the regular-season finale April 8 and did not play against the Senators. McQuaid sustained a neck injury in Game 2 against Ottawa and did not return to the series.

Krejci said he would not disclose the specific injury that kept him from playing in the first two games of the series, but said it was an upper-body injury that happened in practice before the playoffs. He then injured his knee on a hit by Ottawa defenseman Chris Wideman in the first period of Game 5.

"It was frustrating, especially playing all 82 games (in the regular season)," Krejci said. "So it was obviously a playoffs to forget for me, and that's what it is. It was frustrating, disappointing."

Center Patrice Bergeron revealed he played the season with a sports hernia and was waiting to hear if he would need surgery.

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