Big Z 'the best,' says Souray

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

MONTREAL -- The Senators are going to be without defenceman Zdeno Chara this weekend, which is a big loss.

You don't have to tell Canadiens defenceman Sheldon Souray that.

Souray, who played with Chara last year during the lockout with Farjestads BK Karstad, sang Chara's praises yesterday before the Habs took on the Maple Leafs.

"If I had one guy to build a team around, no question, he would be the guy," said Souray. "He's a top-five player in the league and the best all-round defenceman. Nobody's even close to him."

Souray saw the highlights from Tuesday night when Chara was speared by Penguins tough guy Eric Cairns and then proceeded to launch a half-dozen right-handed bombs at Cairns' head.

"Does (Chara) have the most points? No, but he's got a lot. Does he have the most penalty minutes? No, but he's got a lot. His plus-minus is up there. There aren't many guys like that who can take the other team's heavyweight and slap him around like that, play 30 minutes every game ... it's impressive.

"You don't want to (tick) that guy off."


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