Tag: Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara

Bruins decline has columnists weighing merits of trading Chara


The Boston Bruins, just two years removed from their last trip to the Stanley Cup Final, are in position to make the playoffs for the eighth straight campaign. And yet, the situation isn’t nearly as good as that statement makes it sound.

Boston has struggled to stay afloat this season and now have just a two-point edge on the Florida Panthers in the Wild Card race. Even if the Bruins manage to squeak into the postseason, there will still be serious questions about their ability to contend, both in the playoffs and down the road.

Faced with a situation that they’ve become unaccustomed to in recent years, is it time for the Bruins to make a bold move by trading captain Zdeno Chara before the 37-year-old (38 on March 18) slips further from his prime?

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector felt the idea has merit even if it’s not likely:

Zdeno Chara turns 38 in March, and has become to the Bruins what Jarome Iginla was to the Calgary Flames: that ageing superstar whom the Bruins need to make the playoffs for the next couple of seasons, but whose value will then slip to the point where any trade return on him is negligible.

History shows that the Calgary Flames should have dealt Iginla two years before they did. Instead, the Flames missed the playoffs in both of Iginla’s final two seasons in Calgary, then settled on two middling prospects — Ben Hanowski and Kenny Agostino — and a first round pick (Morgan Klimchuk) in a trade from Pittsburgh.

Of course, Chiarelli’s dilemma runs deep. There isn’t a GM in hockey — and he’s one of the best, IMO — who would submit to this obvious trend and deal Chara now. Not with a playoff spot still a very real possibility.

But the decline has begun, and here’s why we are mighty sure that the Bruins are not Detroit, a team that has bucked the trend: Look at the Bruins drafting record since 2007, and you’ll find the answer to why their opponent tonight has fallen on such hard times. It’s why Calgary is rebuilding. It’s why the Canucks are no longer an elite contender. And it’s why the Maple Leafs are as bad as they are.

There’s also a substantial cap component to consider. Chara comes with a roughly $6.9 million annual hit through the 2017-18, so moving him would provide the Bruins with the kind of flexibility they’ve been hurting for in recent years. The length of that deal might lead to Boston getting less desirable offers for his services, but there would still be plenty of interest in the big defenseman given his superb resume and the fact that he can still log top minutes.

CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty recently brought that up while arguing that Boston should deal Chara on the Great American Hockey Show:

At the end of the day, it would be very surprising to see Boston deal its captain at this time or even in the summer. Still, the fact that the topic is even being discussed is a reflection of just how poorly this season has gone for the Bruins.

Banged-up Bruin — Miller sent home with shoulder injury

Boston Bruins v New York Rangers

Winless in their last four, now the Boston Bruins have another problem — they’re down to just six healthy defenseman after Kevan Miller hurt his shoulder last night in Calgary.

Miller has reportedly been sent home for evaluation.

With three games remaining on their road trip (tomorrow in Edmonton, Friday in St. Louis, Sunday in Chicago), the B’s are expected to call up a defenseman (Zach Trotman?) from AHL Providence.

Against the Oilers, the Bruins’ could line up something like this on the back end:

Zdeno Chara — Dougie Hamilton
Dennis Seidenberg — Adam McQuaid
Matt Bartkowski — Torey Krug

Related: Changes coming to Bruins’ defense?

There’s ‘a lot of negativity in the room’ as Bruins kick off five-game trip

Niklas Svedberg, Zdeno Chara

With three regulation defeats in their last four, including last night’s 5-3 home loss to Dallas, “negativity” has crept back into the Boston Bruins’ mindset — just in time for a five-game road trip that starts Friday in Vancouver, before stops in Calgary, Edmonton, St. Louis and Chicago.

“You’re feeling so good, and everything is positive, and it kind of all goes the other way again… a lot of negativity in the room, I guess, this last weekend,” said d-man Dougie Hamilton, per CSN New England. “That’s what happens when you’re losing, and we have to find a way to change that obviously on this road trip.”

Not even two weeks ago, the B’s were ending the month of January on an 8-1-1 run. At the time, they had themselves a comfortable nine-point playoff cushion.

Today, that cushion has dwindled to just four points over the Florida Panthers, who also hold two games in hand.

“It is disappointing,” captain Zdeno Chara said after the Stars game, in which the B’s surrendered two short-handed goals and went 0-for-3 on the power play.

“We know that it was our last game for a while at home and now we have a long road trip.”