TRAIKOS: League shutdown could spell end of career for Bruins’ Zdeno Chara — Toronto Sun

While the NHL was put on hold, Zdeno Chara celebrated his 43rd birthday. Read More

TRAIKOS: League shutdown could spell end of career for Bruins’ Zdeno Chara — Toronto Sun

While the NHL was put on hold, Zdeno Chara celebrated his 43rd birthday.

Well, celebrated might be too strong a word.

Chara, whose birthday fell on March 18, was supposed to be in Anaheim for a game against the Ducks. Instead, he spent the day in his car completing a 20-plus hour drive from Boston to his off-season home in Florida with his wife and three kids.

“Strange times,” said Chara, who joked during an online conference call with three other Atlantic Division captains on Monday that it could have been worse. At least Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and notoriously gassy stomach wasn’t also on the road trip.

“The way he farts,” said Chara, “the smell is awful.”

That joke got a big laugh out of Toronto’s John Tavares, Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk and Detroit’s Dylan Larkin. But for most of the call, Chara was somber, if not serious, about how things have changed because of the coronavirus.

The severity of COVID-19 has halted the NHL’s regular season and crippled life as we know it. Normally, Chara might have gone out to dinner to celebrate his birthday. This time, he wisely kept it more low key.

“You reach a certain age,” he said, “and you try to hide it.”

That Chara would seek refuge down south made sense for a number of reasons. For one, it’s a lot warmer in Florida than it is in Boston. Chara said he has a pool where he can stay in shape swimming laps and plenty of room outside for him and his kids to run around and play.

TRAIKOS: League shutdown could spell end of career for Bruins’ Zdeno Chara — Toronto Sun

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