The big news as the Bruins opened training camp yesterday at Warrior Ice Arena was, of course, the signing of restricted free agent David Pastrnak to a six-year, $40 million contract.
But general manager Don Sweeney made some additional news when he revealed there have been talks about a contract extension for team captain and cornerstone defenseman Zdeno Chara. The 40-year-old has one year left on a seven-year contract, earning $4 million this season.
“I’ve had talks with Z,” said Sweeney. “He has indicated that he would like to continue to play hockey. We would like to continue to have him as part of the Boston Bruins. So we’ll continue to monitor that as we go through camp and the start of the season, continue those talks.
“It’s important for him to understand that we’re in his corner. But there’s no timetable to have those discussions. I think he wants to play. I think he can play. I think he is an impactful player.”
Last season, averaging a team-high 23:19 in ice time, Chara played 75 games and posted 10 goals, 19 assists and a plus-18. He has his critics, but he remains a valuable blueliner. In 2010, Chara told the Herald he hoped to play until age 45.
“We reached out and we had brief talks,” said Chara of the recent contact with B’s management. “The interest is on both sides. I expressed my interest.
“I would be more than happy to stay in this organization that I signed (with) in 2006. It’s been an absolute thrill for me to be part of this organization. I want to continue to play beyond this season. Right now it’s going to be about the team, how we’re going to get ready for the preseason and the regular season.”
Purcell in camp
Veteran right winger Teddy Purcell, 32, formerly a first-line player with Tampa Bay (65 points in 81 games in 2011-12) but a journeyman the last few seasons, is in camp on a pro tryout basis. He bounced from Tampa, to Edmonton, to Florida and Los Angeles the past three years — spending half of last season in the NHL.
Purcell had other options but opted for the Bruins because he saw a potential opportunity here.
“It happened pretty quick,” said the former Maine Black Bear. “I didn’t know I was coming here until a couple of days ago. From what I’ve heard there’s a lot of good (young) players coming in and they’re going to be hungry for spots. The management probably knows them better than it knows me. As an older guy you’ve just got to come with confidence. I’ve…