The 2020-21 NHL season finally has an official start date and format, but questions remain for the Boston Bruins.
One of the biggest is the future of Zdeno Chara.
The longtime Bruins defenseman and captain is still an unrestricted free agent. So, what's the latest update on his status?
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“The Bruins have been very communicative with us about how they see things moving forward,” Chara’s agent Matt Keator told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun on Sunday. “Now that we know the format of the season we will be assessing Z’s options going forward.”
There are several reasons to bring back Chara.
From a hockey perspective, the Bruins definitely need his help on the blue line. We know Chara isn't a Norris Trophy-level defenseman anymore, but he's still a quality defensive player who can kill penalties and play a smart, physical game.
Let's also not forget the Bruins lost top-four defenseman Torey Krug in free agency a few months ago and have not replaced him with anyone. The team seems content with allowing its younger players and prospects to compete for increased ice time. It's not a bad strategy considering the team's position, but adding Chara's veteran presence and leadership would be a benefit to the group overall.
The Bruins have a little under $3 million in salary cap space, per CapFriendly. Chara's one-year contract for last season had a $2 million cap hit.