Well… 2020 had to get one more shot at us before the New Year. News broke Wednesday afternoon that Zdeno Chara will not be returning to the Bruins. He has since signed with the Washington Capitals on a 1 year, $795K deal.
What a gut punch! The Bruins have now lost two cornerstones of the left side of the defense. Between Torey Krug signing in St. Louis, and Chara signing with Washington… the team’s defense has been flipped upside down in the last three months. While Zdeno Chara is very near the end of his career and is not the elite defenseman he once was… he was still very reliable, and decent for the bottom two pairings. His leadership, grit, and penalty killing will be most missed. He should’ve been re-signed.
Losing his services on what was a cup contending team, is the toughest part to swallow. You lose two huge pieces of your blue line, and go with young, unproven players while you have an aging core. Patrice Bergeron is 35, David Krejci is 34, Brad Marchand is 32, and Tuukka Rask is 33. Are we really reverting back to 2014-2017, where we waste years of the Bruins core?
What are the Bruins doing exactly?
Shortly after the news broke, Chara took to Instagram to post his farewell to the Bruins, and the City of Boston:
“The Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision.”
Really?? Chara not being a Boston Bruin any longer is… the Bruins choice?? While Zdeno Chara is very near the end of his career and is not the elite defenseman he once was, he was still very reliable, and decent for the bottom two pairings. His leadership, grit, and penalty killing will be missed. Are the Bruins really going to roll out a defense with the left side being Matt Grzelyck, John Moore, and hope one of the young guys (Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril, Urho Vaakanainen) are ready for top 4 NHL minutes? You cannot have John Moore on the second pairing with Brandon Carlo.
Don Sweeney and management should be under heavy criticism. After signing horrible contracts, (David Backes, Matt Beleskey, John Moore) you won’t sign Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara to reasonable deals? There’s no excuse for this. You can hope the young guys can step up, but it’s no guarantee they will fill the holes left. It’s too big of a risk with the aging core.
Here’s what the D-core could look like
At the end of the day, Zdeno Chara played over 1,000 games for the Boston Bruins. He’s been their captain for 14 years. The impact and legacy of Zdeno Chara the NHL player, and Zdeno Chara the person, will be told and idolized for decades to come. He led the team that ended the 39 year cup drought. Number 33 will never be worn by another Boston Bruin. The jersey retirement will be very emotional. What a career for the tallest player in NHL history.
Thank you, Big Z. You deserved a better ending with the Bruins.
-Bradley Whitesell (@bradiey98)
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