LOCKOUT: Day Eighteen – Hits keep on coming.


April 16, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) stands on the ice against the Washington Capitals during the first period of game three of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Verizon Center. The Bruins won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

In accordance with ancient maritime tradition, it is customary for the captain to go down with his ship.  Thankfully, there are no boats in hockey. (I wonder if Bettman and Fehr will want to add that to the short list of things the NHL and NHLPA can agree to?) Well, Bruins Nation, our captain has left the ship. To be fair, the ship didn’t even get out of dry-dock before it went down. Bruins defenseman and team captain Zdeno Chara will sign with the Prague Lions of Russia’s Continental Hockey League (KHL). The report, first stated in USA Today says that Chara could be playing in Russia as soon as this weekend.

The proximity to Chara’s home in Slovakia and his friends were cited as the primary reasons for the move.  This makes Chara the second Bruin to sign with a KHL. He is following in the footsteps of  goaltender Anton Khudobin, who signed with the KHL’s  Moscow Oblast Atlant. regardless of the lockout. The first time I was ‘lectured’ about the Bruins, I heard nothing but great things about Big Z. He’s an amazing defensemen. He plays great two way hockey. He has the fastest slap-shot in the league. My friends forgot the little issue of him being over seven feet tall on skates. During the last lockout, Chara played in the Swedish Elitserien league for Farjestads BK. 

Then yesterday, alternate captain Patrice Bergeron told the media he was also leaving for Europe. Patrice signed a lockout contract with the Swiss A league to play for HC Lugano. Bergeron explained his move to the media.  “I’m going over there to help (HC Lugano) and it’s going to be a new learning experience with a different type of hockey and all of that, but the fact that I’m going over there means things are not settled between the league and the union, and so far it seems like we’re still far apart. But I’m still confident and I believe in my union and hopefully we’ll find a way to get something done. But for now I want to stay up to speed with my game.”

Is anyone else in the Nation getting depressed as I am?