Doc Emrick on GHS explains why he thinks Zdeno Chara will be back

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By WEEI 93.7

There were a couple comments during Monday night's Bruins-Lightning Game 5 broadcast on NBCSN that made you wonder if perhaps the broadcast team knew something about Zdeno Chara's future.

After the Bruins' 43-year-old captain assisted on David Krejci's tying goal late in regulation, color commentator Keith Jones said that Chara was "not ready for his Bruins career to end just yet."

Then during the handshake line after the Lightning ended the series in double overtime, play-by-play man Mike "Doc" Emrick spent nearly a minute paying tribute to both Chara the person and Chara the player in what sounded a little bit like a career send-off.

“I hope you don’t mind I switch gears from hockey to humanity...” —Doc Emrick lauds Zdeno Chara’s character as the Bruins’ captain departs the ice after what could have been his last game in Bostonpic.twitter.com/OtGK67BCZR

— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) September 1, 2020

After the game, Chara, who does not have a contract for next season, said he had not made any decision about his future yet and that he would be "open-minded."

Appearing on The Greg Hill Show -- with Danielle Murr, Jermaine Wiggins and Rich Keefe filling in for Greg -- Wednesday morning, Emrick explained why he actually thinks Chara will be back with the Bruins next season.

"No," Emrick said when asked if he thinks Chara's career is over. "When you consider the top six or the top seven, if you rank the Bruins' defense, I would say no, especially considering the way that he keeps himself, and considering also what I remember from last year and comparing to this year. When he had the broken jaw, his coach said the morning of the game when I asked him, 'Do you think that Zdeno Chara at less than 100 percent in the lineup is as valuable as Zdeno Chara sitting out and putting somebody else in?,' he said, 'Would you want to go through the lumber company to get to the net if you were a St. Louis Blue?'

"I think there's still some value that he can lend, and a lot of the value that I feel that he can lend, at not too much money, I think a lot of the value that he continues to lend to the team is the cultural influence that he has in the room. And there is a value to that. There are those players that have a cultural value, too. And even if he's not a top-four defenseman, but a guy who just kills penalties and does spot duty, I still think there's a value there."

Listen to the full interview here:

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