Don Sweeney provides an update on Zdeno Chara's NHL future

Is this the end for Big Z?

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With news yesterday that the Boston Bruins had signed restricted free agent Jake DeBrusk to a two year deal worth $3.675 million per season, all that's left for GM Don Sweeney to do is to lock up his captain. DeBrusk, whose new contract should give him some room to grow, was the last remaining un-signed player on the Bruins' roster aside from 43 year old captain Zdeno Chara.

While on a conference call with Boston media members to discuss DeBrusk's new contract, Sweeney was asked about Chara and contract negotiations between the team and its captain.

For the full video with Sweeney's contracts, click below:

"Nope. Same status quo there," Sweeney said. "Waiting to reconnect with (agent) Matt [Keator] and Zdeno. [Chara] continues to evaluate what the landscape of the League looks like, and we'll see where it goes. We've had constant communication, but hopefully we've got a target date (for this season) here at some point in time in the near future and we'll see what the League determines."

For what it's worth, it doesn't sound like Chara is looking to take his game anywhere else. It sounds like he's simply waiting for things to play out behind the scenes before he commits to the grind of another long NHL season. After all, you don't foster a 20+ year NHL career by being reckless. Chara is the definition of a smart veteran player and he knows what he's doing by biding his time.

"I feel strong physically," Chara said in September after the Bruins lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Second Round. "I'm positive and I believe that I can still play this game and contribute to the team. I want to stay in Boston. I want to be a Boston Bruin. … That hasn't changed. I'm committed. So we'll see what's going to happen next."

Here's hoping he see this freak of nature, and I mean that in the nicest way possible, back on this ice for his 23rd season in the league. 1,553 games played with nearly 200 career playoff games played. If he plays two more seasons he'll likely land in the top 10 all-time in games played.