Chara's Olympic travel plans no clearer

Chara's Olympic travel plans no clearer
January 24, 2014, 12:45 am
(USA Today Sports Images)

WILMINGTON, Mass. – Zdeno Chara and the Bruins still aren’t entirely sure of his itinerary while traveling to Sochi for the Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremonies or exactly how many games he’s going to miss prior to the Olympic break. It’s a certainty that Chara will miss the Feb. 8 home date against the Ottawa Senators, but the Feb. 6 game at St. Louis is the game that’s still very much in question.

That’s because the Opening Ceremonies are scheduled to go off on Feb. 7 in Russia and it’s difficult to envision the Bruins captain getting there on time if he plays against the Blues before stepping on a charter flight headed for Sochi.

So has the picture become any clearer about when he’ll be leaving to carry out the once-in-a-lifetime experience of carrying the flag for his native Slovakia?

“Not yet. Right now I’m here and focusing on the next few games coming up,” said Chara, who is also the captain for Team Slovakia. “I’m following the news and the situation that’s going on over [in Russia], but I’m sure it will be fine and safe over there.”

Both player and team indicated they’re still working on the plan and they have three weeks to figure it out.

"We don't know the schedule yet, and I don't think he knows either," said coach Claude Julien. "It's still that question mark of whether it's going to be one or two [games missed]."

But there might be some benefit to absorbing the short term hit of Chara missing the two regular season games, and allowing him a restful trip to Russia with an eye toward keeping him as fresh as possible when his Olympic experience has ended.