Defenseman Zdeno Chara told the media that “it was exciting to put the Washington Capitals jersey on,” be on the ice, and meet his new teammates after getting on the ice for the first time with the practice group on Wednesday.
Chara said that he worked out every day while he was in quarantine but added that “of course, you miss [being on the ice with teammates] every day” and he hopes to keep improving.
On being on the same team as Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom, Chara said that “We know each other well. We had some good battles. … It’s very exciting to be around them and looking forward to playing with them.”
Chara said that he and Nick Jensen, who started on a pair together on Wednesday, are getting used to each other and that there are no issues but they are trying to get comfortable with each other.
The 43-year-old said that “It’s just adjustments you need to be able to [make]” after being asked about a whirlwind of a week for him.”It’s very different,” he added, “I am taking one day at a time [with new adjustments].”
When asked about helping guide young players, including 20-year-old defenseman Martin Fehervary who hails from Chara’s homeland of Slovakia and looked up to him while growing up, he said that it “feels great. I enjoy that type of role where I could help out those types of players.” He called Fehervary “a great player” who has “a bright future in NHL.”
After getting caught talking to 18-year-old center Hendrix Lapierre during his first skate in Washington on Tuesday, Chara told the media that the talk with him “was fun” and the young players “are highly motivated. We had a great practice. … I enjoy talking to younger players. … [I] kind of like making new friendships.
“It was exciting to put the Washington Capitals jersey on.”
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) January 6, 2021
By Harrison Brown