By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins and free agent Zdeno Chara remain in a holding pattern, according to B's general manager Don Sweeney.
"Same status quo there," Sweeney said Monday. "Waiting to reconnect with [agent] Matt [Keator] and Zdeno."
This is consistent with what Sweeney said following Matt Grzelcyk's re-signing, saying that the Bruins were waiting for the 43-year-old Chara, who has spent the last 14 years as the B's captain, to initiate talks about 2020-21. But Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy has since gone in-depth about a potential Chara departure, and the Bruins having eight defensemen signed to NHL contracts next season seemingly painted a picture of a potential Chara-less defense.
But according to Sweeney, the holdup comes with Chara waiting to see exactly what next year looks like.
"Zee continues to evaluate what the landscape of the league looks like and we’ll see where it goes," Sweeney, who now has about $3 million in projected space for next season after signing Jake DeBrusk, offered. "We’ve had constant communication and hopefully we’ve got a target date here at some point in the near future and we’ll see what the league determines."
Reading through that, it's plausible to think that another bubble situation isn't of particularly great interest to Chara. Perhaps same for if the NHL goes with a 'series' style approach to their schedule and has teams play three games in three nights.
Sweeney's comments also make you think that this is more of a question of whether or not Chara wants to play in another coronavirus-altered hockey season and not whether or not the Bruins want Chara back in Boston for a 15th season.
The 6-foot-9 Chara, who totaled five goals and 14 points along with a plus-26 rating in 68 games this past season, is one of just six players in franchise history to play at least 1,000 games with the Bruins.