Ryan: Let’s be real – a reserve role was not going to work for Zdeno Chara in Boston

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Even through the lens of an iPad camera — broadcasted via Zoom from a hotel in Washington D.C. — it was easy to gauge Zdeno Chara's excitement.

For the first time in 15 years, the 43-year-old defenseman is the new "kid" in town as a member of the Washington Capitals. There's a new system to learn. New facilities to settle into. New teammates to get acquainted with.

And yet, for all of the anticipation that comes with opening the next chapter in his Hall-of-Fame career, Chara was candid when speaking with media on Thursday about what conditions were mapped out that prompted him to sign with the Caps after 14 seasons with the Bruins.

“Nothing is guaranteed in Washington," he remarked.

Well then.

If that's the case, then what exactly was Don Sweeney and the Bruins pitching to their longtime captain in order to try to get him back in the fold for 2021?

Apparently, something even worse than no guarantee — at least for a player of Chara's caliber.