GM: Bruins, Chara talking extension

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun that the team has had preliminary contract extension talks with the agent for defenseman Zdeno Chara, who is slated to make $7.5 million next season in the final year of his deal.

"Yes, I've had preliminary talks and we expect to meet again,'' Chiarelli said.

Agent Matt Keator confirmed the same in an e-mail to ESPN.com.

Chiarelli told Boston sports radio station WEEI late last week that he has had "informal conversations" with both Chara and Patrice Bergeron -- whose contract is also up at the end of next season -- and said "we're going to extend them both."

When these deals might get done is unclear. Late last week, Chiarelli texted to ESPNBoston.com that the Bruins will be meeting with Chara and Bergeron "later this summer."