The uncertainty around contract negotiations between the Boston Bruins and longtime captain Zdeno Chara continued Thursday. Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told Raul Martinez of NBC Boston that he is preparing for life without the defenseman that has patrolled the Bruins blue line since the 2006-07 season.
“If ‘Zee’ ends up in another uniform, then we have to rely on these young guys,” Bruce Cassidy told Martinez. “I guess that’s the way I look at it. I look at it as a coach. You try to separate the personal side of it. You go to bat with these guys every day, it’s a privilege to coach them but then people change, there’s trades and then you move on and then you gotta worry about the next guy.”
"If Z ends up in another uniform, then we have to rely on these young guys" pic.twitter.com/mc9vT0Btn8
— Craig Kolodny (@NBCBostonCraig) October 22, 2020
In recent seasons, Cassidy, on more than one occasion, has praised Zdeno Chara as an on-ice extension of the Bruins coaching staff. By no means does he think it’s time for the player and team to part ways but he knows the chance that happens is real.
“So, I don’t want to sound impersonal but that’s the way a coach sometimes has to look at it,” Bruce Cassidy said. “We gotta get the best out of the next guy that’s going into the lineup. So, we’ll see how it plays out. No matter what, ‘Zee’ has been a legend in a Bruins uniform and you know that’s a tough one, very difficult one but we’ll see how it goes.”
Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney told the media recently that he and his staff are waiting on Zdeno Chara now to make the next move in contract talks.
“We have communicated consistently with Zdeno and [his agent] Matt Keator,” Sweeney said. “We’re just waiting for him to initiate what he’d like to do moving forward. I feel very comfortable allowing [the decision-making process] to take the necessary time and let Zdeno make his own decisions along that route.