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As the offseason drags on, Bruins fans grow antsy. Why haven’t Jake DeBrusk and captain Zdeno Chara been re-signed? What are they waiting for?
It’s A Bussiness
There have been few and far between offseasons where RFAs ink extensions before the start of training camp. Besides the most recent signing of Matt Grzelcyk, the last few offseasons have been spent negotiating with RFAs and their camp.
We saw it with Charlie McAvoy, David Pastrnak, and Brandon Carlo. It shouldn’t come as a surprise with Jake DeBrusk either.
There’s plenty that goes on behind the scenes that most of us aren’t privy to. The phone calls, the number crunching and negotiating. People are doing their due diligence to make sure both parties are happy and every i is dotted and t is crossed.
DeBrusk’s agent reported that he is aiming for $6m AAV. I would be very surprised if the final numbers are anywhere north of $4.5, especially in the flat cap era. DeBrusk would be making close to what Pastrnak makes and that seems a bit ludicrous. He’s a streaky player who is red hot when he’s hot and ice-cold when he’s cold.
My estimate would be $3.75 for three years as a bridge to a longer contract.
Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney can and will get this done. Rumors of shopping DeBrusk were bound to happen. No one is going to offer sheet him. If a trade gets done, I would be shocked. Negotiations are going to extend into training camp.
Zdeno Chara’s Future
43 year old Zdeno Chara, is a UFA who has yet to make a decision regards to his future. Last season he was averaging 21:01 TOI which is unheard of for a player of his age. Chara is someone who prides himself in his health and durability. He may be closer to retirement age than most of the roster, but he does not let that slow him down.
If he returns to the Bruins, I do not see him on the top pair anymore. I think that that’s a fair assessment from fans as well. While his age does occasionally show, he is still beneficial on the ice. Chara isn’t one to back down from a fight. There’s a reason why people say don’t poke the bear and laugh at anyone who steps up to fight the Captain.
Chara’s role would more than likely be reduced to a bottom paid D-man with one of the younger guys. I think that that’s to be expected. Limit his minutes, but still, send him out there when business needs to be taken care of.
Retirement. It’s the dreaded word that no Bruins fans want to think about when it comes to their core. Chara is literally a robot. How does one compete at that level at the age of 43? There’s always a chance that Chara hangs up the skates. There’s actually a good possibility of this. Due to the current state of hockey and the unknown of bubbles, it could make sense for him to say goodbye and focus on raising his family. Could I see him come back and coach? Yes. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he will be behind the bench one day.
Chara could also take the Justin Williams route and come back toward the end of the season and put all his focus on the playoffs. Once again, I think that depends on the state of the Bruins and if a bubble of any sort is involved.
In my honest opinion, if Chara does come back, he won’t re-sign until after DeBrusk
The Future of the Bruins.
There are no set dates for the start of the season and there’s not exactly a clear timetable for when camps could begin. There’s been speculation about starting the season after the New Year and having a January to June season, but we are inching closer and I’m sure everyone involved in the Return To Play would like some answers.
When the time is right, the deals will be done. Don’t sweat it.
Follow me on Twitter: @jessicabelmosto
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