Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hopes to be ready for Opening Night

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 27: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins skates against the St. Louis Blues during the third period in Game One of the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on May 27, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

Barring a setback, Bruins captain Zdeno Chara hopes to be on the ice and ready to go for his 14th season in a Boston sweater when the puck drops on the 2019-20 season in Dallas on Oct. 3.

"I think that I should be [ready to play]," the 42-year-old Chara said following a Friday skate at Warrior Ice Arena.

Recovering from offseason surgeries on his jaw and elbow -- the 6-foot-9 defender played the final three games of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final with a broken jaw and missed Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final with an undisclosed injury -- Chara has been on the ice for captains' practices, and without the full-shield worn in the Cup Final.

It's an obvious positive sign in his recovery, with regaining comfort (particularly in his elbow, you'd imagine) being at the top of Chara's priorities with the official start of training camp less than a week away.

"It's something that it's a process to make sure that there are no setbacks or any discomfort at this point," said Chara.

"I'm still recovering," Chara admitted. "I'm still working on being at full strength, so it's still going on, the process of getting stronger and healthier. I'm glad that I'm able to enjoy the full spoons of food."

Chara suited up in 62 games last year (a low in any 82-game season in his 13-season run in Boston), with five goals and 14 points, along with a plus-22 rating and 21:05 of action per night.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. He has also been a member of the Boston Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association since 2013. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.