Chara likes 'depth' countryman Meszaros brings

Chara likes 'depth' countryman Meszaros brings
March 6, 2014, 12:45 pm
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BOSTON -- While there had been reports that fellow Slovakian Zdeno Chara had been “whispering in the ear” of B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli about acquiring Andrej Meszaros, the Bruins captain said that wasn’t the case on Thursday morning. There was “communication” between Chiarelli and Chara prior to the trade deadline, but the B’s captain was underplaying it in a meaningful way.

“We have known each other a long time, and we have a similar vision of what we want to accomplish here,” said Chara. “Sometimes we do have conversations about things, but it’s not like it’s every day. But if there is something that needs to be addressed then we talk.”

Chara was pleased that the Bruins got some depth along the blue line, and the hope is he can scale back on the 24:59 of ice time he’s averaged in 58 games this season.

Chara and Meszaros played together as a defensemen pair back in 2005-06 for the Ottawa Senators, and during the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver. But he shied away from giving Meszaros the full “Big Zee” endorsement when asked about the 28-year-old Meszaros following Thursday’s morning skate at TD Garden.

“I look at it as it’s nice to have some more depth on the team. He’s a Slovak and it’s obviously nice to have a countryman on the team, but I don’t really look at what nationality that guys are. He brings that [depth] to our team,” said Chara. “We needed depth, and it’s no secret that’s what we were looking for in the last few days and months.”

Meszaros did have 39 points and a plus-34 in his rookie season playing with Big Zee in Ottawa, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he could again swing over to the right side in a top pairing with Chara. But the most recent memories with Meszaros perhaps weren’t the best for the B’s 6-foot-9 defensive stopper after Team Slovakia stumbled through the Olympic tournament.

“We had some good chemistry together when he was first breaking into the league,” said Chara. “We even played together on some of the national teams. He’s just a normal guy. He’s a good guy that works hard, and he’s a big, strong physical guy that plays the game that way.
“But I wasn’t in Sochi to judge anybody’s performance. I’m here to play the game, and so is everybody else. As a team we didn’t perform well, and you saw the results. We ended up 11th [in Sochi].”

Meszaros won’t be providing any depth on Thursday night, however, as he’ll be sitting in the 9th floor press box as a healthy scratch when the Bruins and Washington Capitals take the ice.