Zdeno Chara’s Future in Boston Uncertain


There has been some chatter around Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and his future with the team. This talk isn’t coming from the organization or anyone close to the team, but from fans and dreamers thinking about “what if” scenarios.

There have been numerous tweets declaring that Chara’s career is done (I don’t buy that) and that he is on a decline and will only get worse (again, I don’t think that’s necessarily the case). There are also those out there wondering what the Bruins could get for the six-foot-nine-inch, 38-year-old defenseman.

I started wondering the same thing and whether the Bruins would be open to trading their captain. Of course, with how things have panned out over the past few seasons, I don’t believe that anyone is safe from a trade (especially if Don Sweeney is running things). So is it possible that the Bruins will unload their captain? Sure, but I don’t think it’s likely. Not in the immediate future anyway.

Yes, his age is sort of an issue, as it is with any aging player. He is 38 and will be under contract for the next three seasons. That means his contract will expire when he is 41. With age comes loss of speed, a possibility of more injuries and, of course, a decrease in production. These things happen—sometimes gradually, sometimes all at once, and sometimes on an inconsistent basis. Really, with aging players, you just can’t expect them to be the same player as they were in their 20s and early 30s.

But with what the Bruins lost in the backend (cap issues sent Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders and a trade sent 22-year-old Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames), you can’t expect the team to get rid of Chara. That would really thin out their defense. It just wouldn’t work.

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I believe that Chara’s trade value already peaked and the team missed out on their best opportunity to trade him. That means, with his age and damaged knee, Chara himself said he had permanent damage to his PCL, most teams would not be giving up premier players to get him for one to two seasons. It just isn’t worth it for them.

So, where does this leave Chara? Right where he has been the past nine seasons. I honestly don’t think, unless he has an absolutely awful beginning of the season (which again, he’s Chara so it’s not likely) that he is going anywhere.

Eventually, by the end next season or beginning of the 2016-17 campaign, I do believe the Bruins will have to reassess Chara’s value based on their cap situation and personnel at their disposal. It may be best for the team to part ways with him or it may be best to keep him.

Really, everyone’s future is uncertain, so Chara is no different. But like many hockey analysts, I believe that Chara will bounce back from his sluggish performance in 2014-15 and we will see the big-bodied defenseman with a wicked (for all you Bostonians) hard shot play the way he has since he joined the team in 2006.

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