Chara and Brady had admired each other's games throughout their overlapping Boston careers, and in recent years got a chance to spend some time together and become friends.
During an appearance on Dale and Keefe Thursday, Chara discussed his reaction to Brady's departure.
"I have to be honest, it was obviously a little mixed feelings," Chara said. "I was sad to see Tom leave. He meant so much to the Boston community, to the fans, to probably every little boy growing up.
"All these inspiring stories, and just a great example on and off the field. So yeah, it was kind of sad to see him leave Boston, but at the same time I’m very supportive of his decision and what he’s trying to go for, and I will always be his fan and his friend and wish him nothing but the best."
Brady, who will turn 43 in August, has often said he wants to play until he's 45, if not longer. Chara, who turned 43 a few weeks ago, hasn't put any sort of number on when he might retire and told Dale and Keefe he doesn't intend to, either.
"I don’t like to put the numbers like that," Chara said. "You never know what’s going to happen. I want to play as long as I can and as long as I have fun and I love the game and I’m very passionate about the game, but we’ll see what’s going to happen.
"Obviously first we have to get through this (coronavirus) situation and go see what’s going to happen after. I really can’t say that, 'Hey I’m going to play until 45' or any number. I’m kind of waiting to see what’s going to happen, and we’ll see. I’m keeping my mind open and hopefully everything will sort out and work out and I’ll keep playing."
Chara signed a one-year, $2 million extension around this time last year, and presumably he and the Bruins wouldn't have much trouble agreeing to another extension if both parties want to keep this going.
It’s with sadness and joy I find myself reflecting on the news of my friend and sports legend @TomBrady moving on from the @Patriots. For New England and it’s fan base, Tom’s departure is a major loss to the role he plays in leading the incredible Patriots. His 20 years have brought us all some of the most memorable moments in sports history. His departure leaves us with mixed feelings. We feel a loss but we also hope that he continues to have an outstanding career. Thank you Tom for the best 20 years of New England sports memories. Your leadership, athletic achievements and your contributions to Boston will forever be remembered by many generations. I wish you all the best. We will be watching and cheering you on!
A post shared by Zdeno Chara (@zeechara33) on Mar 22, 2020 at 1:44pm PDT