How much did he hold the attention of the Boston sports fan?
Boston sports fans have their little guys like Dustin Pedroia, and then they have their giants. Consider "Zee" in that latter group, as at 6-foot-9, he is the tallest player in the history of the NHL. Simply put, you can't miss him.
How big was his impact for his team/organization?
Chara is perhaps the centerpiece of the reloading the Bruins did back in 2006. Within two years of Chara's signing with the B's, Boston was back in the playoffs for the first time since 2003-04. The Bruins have gone to the seventh game in the Eastern Conference semifinals in consecutive seasons with Chara as captain.
How much would he be missed if he wasn't here?
The Bruins luckily haven't had to realize such a scenario since Chara signed with them. Chara has played in at least 77 games in each of his four seasons as a Bruin and has certainly been among the league's elite blueliners.
How much buzz does he create around the water cooler?
Chara isn't going to deliver any earth-shattering comments, so his hits will have to serve as ground-shaking. Anyone who has seen the popular magazine picture of Chara (then of the Senators) standing with 5-foot-7 forward Brian Gionta (then of the Devils) undoubtedly was talking about it afterwards.
How much emotion does the mere mention of his name evoke?
Plenty, and not just in Boston. One of the lasting, albeit odd memories of the trip to Prague was a gigantic Czech media scrum surrounding Chara and David Krejci, requesting a picture of the two Czechoslovakian-born stars fist-pumping.
How hard would he be to replace?
It would not be hard to replace Chara -- it would be impossible. Chara's 105.4 mile-per-hour slapshot is the hardest in the league, and he's a former Norris trophy winner to boot.
How polarizing is he to the city?
Chara may not always be the most embraced captain in the city of Boston due to his perceived laid-back demeanor -- at this year's "State of the Franchise" a season ticket holder even requested he get in his teammates' faces more often when they're underachieving -- but that doesn't mean he isn't one of their favorite players to watch drop the gloves.
How polarizing is he to his team?
Chara brings to the Bruins' locker room what, quite frankly, nobody else can. He speaks seven languages and could hold a conversation with most of his teammates in their respective native tongues. He is also in his fifth season as Bruins captain.
Both Dale and Michael agree that locking Chara up to a contract extension is a good move by the Boston Bruins, but is giving the Bruins captain a 7-year deal too many years?
Cam talked about the Bruins trip to Europe, the play of Tyler Seguin, adjusting to the speed and size of the NHL, why they gave Zdeno Chara a seven-year contract extension, if he believes Chara is the best defenseman in the NHL, the team's approach to no-movement clauses in contracts, if it is wise to having two number 1 goalies on the same team, and the performance of Nathan Horton so far this season
The Bruins captain talked about watching last night's Game 7 between Montreal and Washington and the great job in net by Jaroslav Halak, what was the key in the Bruins' series win against the Sabres, how Tuukka Rask always seems to make the right saves at the right time, the impact of Marc Savard's return to the team, how they will prepare for the Flyers, and what the home crowd has meant for the team.