Training Camp Buzz: Chara cleared to practice with Capitals


Welcome to the 2020-21 NHL training camp buzz. Training camp is underway for all 31 teams and has you covered with all the latest news.


Washington Capitals

Zdeno Chara will skate with the Capitals second practice group Tuesday and join the main group Wednesday after missing the initial day of training camp Monday while quarantining and following COVID-19 testing protocols. 

The 43-year-old defenseman had his physical Tuesday morning after completing his quarantine period.

“He’s been cleared, so we’re excited to get him out on the ice and then he will join the first group tomorrow,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said.

The Capitals are looking forward to seeing what Chara can add to their defense and locker room. He is beginning his 23rd NHL season and first for Washington after agreeing to a one-year, $795,000 contract Dec. 30.

“I’m really, really eager to meet him and get on the ice with him and bounce things off of him,” defenseman Brenden Dillon said. “I think for our locker room he’s going to be a terrific add.” — Tom Gulitti


Boston Bruins

Brad Marchand said he expects to play for the Bruins in their season opener against the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 14 after having sports hernia surgery Sept. 14.

“That’s what we’re shooting for,” the forward said Monday. “We don’t want to miss a game. Every game, especially with that short a season, is so important.”

Marchand took part in the Bruins’ first on-ice session of camp but left midway through as a precaution to ensure that he didn’t “get hurt for trying to do too much.”

“For me, [the surgery] was a long time coming,” Marchand said. “It’s been 2 1/2 years that it’s been bugging me. It’s affected not only my on-ice, but my off-ice training. I haven’t been able to sprint or run in years.”

Marchand said the issue began on the left side but that it affected both sides of his body last season. 

“It got to the point where I was only able to play like 80 percent,” he said. “I think in the playoffs I barely practiced because I needed every day off to recover. Because I was in a lot of pain. It bugged me every single day.”— Amalie Benjamin


Buffalo Sabres

Zemgus Girgensons sustained a lower-body injury and it is unclear how long the Sabres forward will be sidelined.

Girgensons was helped off the ice after trying to check teammate Steven Fogarty in a scrimmage. Fogarty avoided the hit and Girgensons fell awkwardly.

“At the moment, very questionable lower-body injury and once again, no final assessment because he is getting scanned right now,” Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said. “Certainly, we’re hoping for some good news here, but we have to be ready for possibly a bit of a setback.

Girgensons, who scored 19 points in 69 games with the Sabres last season, began the scrimmage on a line with Kyle Okposo and Cody Eakin.

“Everybody saw the injury and the awkwardness of the situation,” Krueger said. “… Zemgus’ package is specialized. It’s hard for us to replace. It’s hard for us to replace and we hope everything goes right. We’re looking forward to that line in action and hopefully we can do that soon.” — Heather Engel, independent correspondent

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