In a wide-ranging interview with Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney provided status quo updates on unrestricted free agent defenseman Zdeno Chara and restricted free agent winger Jake DeBrusk.
“Am I inclined to have him back?” Sweeney asked Dupont. “We would bring . . . Z would return, again, in the role we would hope would be a good fit for both sides.”
Sweeney was then asked what that role would be exactly?
“Again, I’m not sharing my individual conversations with Zdeno,” Sweeney said. “We’ve had a discussion about him being part of our group and playing for us.”
As reported here, both the Bruins and the Chara camp are waiting for the tentative format for the NHL to return and play a shortened 2020-21 season.
While Sweeney didn’t seem more positive or doubtful that he could sign the Bruins longtime 43-year-old captain, he did seem rather optimistic when it came to the 23-year-old DeBrusk. So much so that the Boston Bruins GM discussed roster scenarios for DeBrusk.
“I have full confidence that we’ll find a common ground,” Sweeney said, “and we’ll look forward to having him back under contract and having a really good year and continuing to move his career forward. He’s an important player for us.
We can move him over [to right side],” Sweeney added, “but I think he’s developed chemistry with both [David] Krejci or [Charlie] Coyle. It really just depends what lines are going well and what matchups we want to try to take advantage of.”
Sweeney was also optimistic when it came to the health of forwards David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, as well as defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Kevan Miller.
“We’re balancing things a little bit with not knowing what the start date [for a new season] is,” Sweeney said of Pastrnak, Marchand and McAvoy. “We’re not going to rush any of these players to try to hit some date we don’t know right now.”
As for Miller, who hasn’t played a game since April 6, 2019?
“On target to be a full participant when we’re up and going,” Sweeney said.