On Friday night, Zdeno Chara returned to Boston via Slovakia, where he attended a memorial service for close friend Pavol Demitra.

Coach Claude Julien would have granted Chara a day off. But yesterday, despite being exhausted from the intercontinental flight and still mourning his neighbor's death, the captain participated in the first day of on-ice activities.

Chara, paired mostly with freshman Dougie Hamilton, acknowledged being tired by the end of the session. But the Boston bosses knew Chara wanted to lead his teammates during the opening day of practices.