Could longtime Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara actually finish his career with another NHL team?
In the latest TSN Insider Trading with host James Duthie and Insiders Darren Dreger and Pierre LeBrun, LeBrun reported that Chara’s agent Matt Keator said that the 43-year-old future hall of famer is considering all options as an unrestricted free agent for the first time since July 1, 2006.
“It is a possibility,” LeBrun replied when asked by Duthie if there is a chance ‘we see Zdeno Chara in a different sweater’?
“I mean, I asked his agent Matt Keator on Thursday for an update and specifically asked ‘Hey, like I’m hearing that you know, it may not necessarily be Boston as a slam dunk if he decides to play another season.’ And Keator’s answer was ‘looking at all options’.
Now, I have to say that the Bruins are probably the frontrunner but other teams keep calling. The key thing that Keator said is that Zdeno Chara is in no hurry, he wants to take his time. And one thing he mentioned is the format for next season is of particular interest to Chara. He’s got a young family, there’s a lot of factors to consider whether he is jumping back in for another season, depending on how next year looks like. The bottom line is right now big Z is in a holding pattern.”
If Zdeno Chara was to retire or sign with another team, that would leave another hole on the left side of a Bruins defense that seems to be headed for a youth movement.
Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney and Zdeno Chara have both expressed a mutual desire to reach an agreement on a new contract for Chara, who has served as the Bruins captain since signing with the Bruins just hours into his last foray into the UFA market. However, the Bruins expression to keep things going together has been lukewarm at best.
“We have to look at where we’re headed, what we need, and what role Zdeno can play for us,” Bruins President Cam Neely said back on September 9 before heaping praise on Chara and his hall of fame career.
Last Saturday Sweeney stressed that there has been and continues to be constant communication between him and Keator but did not give any timetable on when things may be resolved one way or another.
“There’s communication between the two sides and again I’ve had a great deal of communication with Zdeno and his representative Matt Keator, to make sure there is no ambiguity in terms of that,” Sweeney told the media after he signed UFA forward Craig Smith. “And whatever ‘Zee’ decides to do, ultimately, he’ll tell us. We’ll react accordingly to that. We have our own feelings as to where these things will go. We’ve certainly relayed them. We’ll continue to relay them.
As I’ve mentioned before, he’s an iconic player, a personality and a leader, and things that we want to make sure that we’re dealing with this with the utmost respect as we try to treat all our players with. And communicate it as effectively as possible. Like I said, we take a lot of pride in that, making sure that there is really, no really unanswered questions in that regard or ambiguity.”