Winter Olympics 2014: Zdeno Chara to carry Slovak flag, will miss 1 Bruins game

Martin Rose

The Bruins will allow Zdeno Chara to miss a game and carry the Slovakian flag in the opening Olympic ceremonies.

There are some honors that are just too big to pass up. That is the situation that arose for the Boston Bruins and captain Zdeno Chara. One of the premier defenseman in all of the NHL, and also captain of his Olympic team Slovakia, Chara was bestowed the honor of flag bearer for the upcoming opening ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The problem? The ceremonies, held on Feb. 7, begin a full six days before the hockey schedule does, and before the NHL schedule takes its Olympic break. Add that the Bruins have a game on Feb. 8 against the Ottawa Senators, and it creates a bit of a pickle. But with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity sitting in Chara's lap, the Bruins have given the Slovak permission to miss the Senators game and represent his country.

Bruins President and former player Cam Neely took to the radio Thursday to explain the organization's decision to allow Chara to leave the team and miss a game:

"He had asked the organization if he could do this. It's quite an honor," Neely said on Felger and Mazz on Thursday afternoon. "Obviously, I shared my feeling about the Olympics with you last week ... there's a number of reasons why I don't like our league shutting down. Zdeno's done a lot for this organization since he's been here. If it didn't mean as much to him as it does, he wouldn't have asked. So we feel it was the right thing to do.

"Obviously, I'd prefer to have him in the lineup, but we feel this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him. He really didn't want to pass up this opportunity."

The men's Olympic hockey tournament begins on Feb. 12, and Chara and Slovakia begin play a day later at 7:30 a.m. against the United States.

More from SB Nation NHL:

Canadiens struggles aren’t going away without change

Ryan Suter’s incredible, record-setting workload

Potty Mouths: The SB Nation hockey blog profanity rankings

Photo: Here’s Dodger Stadium with an ice rink

Olympics: Injuries might alter Canada’s roster | USA roster analysis

Olympic rosters shouldn’t be built with NHL restraints

In This Article

Teams
Players
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.