Fans are still waiting for veteran defenseman Zdeno Chara’s on whether or not he will return to the NHL, though many insiders believe he will return for a 24th season.
His 23rd season ended abruptly when his former team the Boston Bruins eliminated the Washington Capitals from the postseason in the first round. Right after the Caps were ousted, the veteran blue liner admitted that the future was uncertain. He hit free agency again at the end of July after signing a one-year, $795,000 contract with the Capitals, but has yet to make a decision on his future.
He is in Slovakia spending time with family and is in no rush to make a decision on whether or not he will play again in the NHL.
There have been talks that he could return to the Bruins, and then chatter emerged that he could interest the St. Louis Blues. This latter rumour seemed to have lost traction seeing that Chara would prefer to stay in the East closer to his family, and now a new one surfaced that Chara could join the New York Rangers.
Luxe Fox of Sportsnet mentioned how Chara could be linked to his first team ever the New York Islanders, the Isles selected him in the third round, 56th overall back in the 1996 NHL Draft, though he also points out how Jimmy Murphy linked him to the Rangers.
“I’ve heard him linked to the Islanders recently, but it was more of hearsay and speculation,” an anonymous source told Jimmy Murphy for an Aug. 19 story. “It makes a ton of sense but then look at the Rangers too; imagine Adam Fox getting even better under a mentor like Zee?”
Chara showed he still has some gas left in the tank. He scored 10 points (two goals, eight assists) and averaged 18:19 in ice time in 55 regular-season games and scored no points and averaged 16:16 in ice time in five games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
We’d all love to see him return.