“Boy, thank God that you’re done,” responded ZDENÄK CHARA when his son Zdeno informed him of his decision. He admitted that he had persuaded him earlier. In an interview with Sportnet, the father of the best Slovak defenseman in history described Zden’s hockey beginnings, unconventional training and memorable moments of his successful career. He also clarified whether they were interested in his son in the Czech national team. When did the son announce his decision to end his hockey career for good? It was on Sunday, just a few days before he made the official announcement. I told him two years ago to stop. At that time, Alexander Ovechkin convinced him to come to Washington. Then he wanted to add one more year. I told him to go where he started his career in the NHL. The Islanders were interested in him, so they agreed. Zdeno is a leader, that’s what I like. He can pull teammates to his side and always stood up for the weaker ones. He was still highly respected overseas for these qualities as well. Even after forty, he spent around 25 minutes on the ice. Even boys who are 25 years old don’t play that much. In addition, he was still able to fly on the ice like a broken wagon. What did you say to Zden about his decision? Boy, thank God for deciding to quit (laughter). You have a family and children, take care of them. You don’t play hockey for money anymore, you’ve earned enough. You only play because you still enjoy it. I know that in Boston they offered him a job in the management of the club. He hasn’t seen himself there yet, but I think that will come in time. The players respect him. He always treated them fairly as a captain. I am convinced that no team in the NHL would let a player like Zdeno go without offering him a position in the club. Do you see Zdeno in the position of a coach or rather as a manager? I can imagine him in both positions. At the same time, I am 100% sure that he will receive an offer from Boston. He has a lot of experience and is incredibly respected by the players. He has something to pass on to them. He would certainly be an excellent coach. Do you know what he will do after his career ends? He told me that he wants to write a book. I put off all the articles that were published about him in the newspaper and now it’s enough to put it together. How did his family and acquaintances react to his decision? My phone was full. Róbert Švehla was among the first. Mostly it was congratulations on raising an exceptional son. After all, I trained him myself for two years when he was fired from Trenčín. How do you remember that period? It was no fun. We traveled about 45 kilometers from Trenčín to the stadium in Piešťany. In the morning, he had training sessions from six thirty. We left the house around half past five so that he could change into his gear. After training, we hurried back to Trenčín to school. My friends told me that Zdeno should go to training alone. However, I refused because someone had to measure his times and heart rate.
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