Boston Bruins alum Jason York talks about Chara: ‘Absolute Machine’

Jason York, former NHL defenseman and current Sportsnet and Hockey Night In Canada analyst, is eternally grateful to have been able to finish his NHL career playing 49 games with the Boston Bruins during the 2006-07 season. . York is especially grateful to have been able to team up with longtime Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. York played parts of 14 seasons on the show and on Thursday, he said Jeff Marek, Anthony Stewart and Brian Burke on Sportsnet Hockey Central that Chara is the hardest working player he has ever played with or against.

“It was a pretty cool experience,” York recalled. “Number 1, I’ve never seen such a big guy do so many pull-ups. We talked about it a couple of times on ‘Ice Surfing’. It’s not a lie guys! ‘Big Zee’ what is it? Six-nine is he? I’m pretty sure, 6-foot-9, 265 pounds so. This guy’s done 39 pull-ups and I’m just here watching. …and we’re talking chin, ticker, arms straight, and 39 of them!

It’s well documented how disciplined and hardworking Chara is still at 43 and that’s why whether or not he returns to the Boston Bruins, York and many in the league still believe he will play another season with his first new team since joining the Bruins as an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2006.

“He used to go to the gym, twice a day on rest days,” York said. “He would go to practice in the morning and then come back in the evening and practice again. That’s why he’s still playing because he’s an absolute machine and at the time it was his first year as captain so he was trying to figure things out but his work ethic I never saw a guys work like that. Off the ice, on the ice and always wanting to improve.

As York pointed out, when Chara entered the league as a raw, tall, lanky rookie, opponents took advantage of his clumsy skating style. They also tweeted it and York thinks that’s what motivated Chara to become a fitness machine and up her two-way game.

“I remember ‘Big Zee’ when he came to the league playing for the New York Islanders,” York recalled. “Guys used to laugh because he didn’t have the skills and say:

“Throw this in Chara’s corner, he can’t do anything, he’s terrible.

“But because he worked so hard on his game. …remember when he came to the Ottawa Senators? I wasn’t with Ottawa at the time and that’s when he really changed his game and worked on it,” York said.

“He worked on his hands and he worked on his skating. He’s a really smart guy and I think we’ve talked about it before, I think he speaks about six different languages. While he was playing he got his real estate license and he’s one of those guys who is always improving and trying to improve.

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