Chara/By S. Bradley

The finishing touches are almost done on his dream house near the mountains of Slovakia.

But completion of Zdeno Chara’s homeland home will have to wait now that he’s getting back to pursuing his other dream: a Stanley Cup.

Chara today was one of more than a dozen Bruins to take the ice for the club’s first informal captains’ practice at Ristuccia Arena. The Bruins, with the additions of Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin to supplement a team that was one win from the conference finals last season, are one of a handful of favorites to challenge for the Cup in 2010-11. Chara isn’t shying away from those expectations.

“Obviously, I think that we improved again. Anything can happen. Anything is possible,” the captain said. “We have a good enough team to win all the way. There’s a few obstacles that can change the direction of how the team is going. Obviously injuries are a big part of (that). If we stay healthy, yeah, this team is very strong.”

It’s a club with enough of a veteran-youngster mix to be championship-caliber for years to come. Whether Chara will be a part of it beyond this season, however, remains to be seen. Chara is in the last year of the five-year deal he signed July 1, 2006. He admitted today that talks between his agent and the Bruins were “at a pause” while the NHL solved the Ilya Kovalchuk situation and dealt with the issue of long-term deals with the NHLPA.

Now there’s a chance talks could carry over into the season, which Chara didn’t seem hot or cold about when asked today. One thing he didn’t hide his enthusiasm for was continuing on in black and gold.

“I want to stay in Boston. I want to be a part of this team for possibly the rest of my career and I enjoy being a Bruin and I want to win a Cup over here,” he said.