This offseason has already seen the Bruins part ways with one stalwart on their blue line in Torey Krug. But come January, could we be staring at a scenario in which Boston’s longtime captain is also donning the sweater of another team?
For as much as the logical conclusion to Chara's current status as an unrestricted free agent is to either re-sign with Boston for a 15th season or opt to hang up his skates, there remains a chance that the future Hall of Famer could take his talents elsewhere — especially if Boston opts to move on for the 2021 season.
During Thursday's "Insider Trading" segment on TSN, Pierre LeBrun offered his input on Chara's current status after speaking with the veteran defenseman's agent Matt Keator.
"I asked his agent, Matt Keator, on Thursday for an update and specifically asked, ‘Hey, I’m hearing that it may not necessarily be Boston as a slam dunk if he decides to play another season,'" LeBrun said. "And Keator’s answer was ‘looking at all options.’ Now, I have to say that the Bruins are probably the frontrunner, but other teams keep calling. The key thing that Keator says is that Zdeno Chara is in no hurry.
"He wants to take his time. And one thing he mentioned is the format for next season is of particular interest to Chara. He’s got a young family, there’s a lot of factors to consider — whether he’s jumping back in for another season, depending on how next year looks like. Bottom line is — right now, Big Zee is in a holding pattern."
Granted, this offseason hasn't exactly gone to plan for the Bruins, but a possible scenario in which Chara continues his career anywhere else but Boston is quite startling. Back in September, Chara reiterated his desire to continue playing in Boston — even if his return would likely necessitate the 43-year-old skater taking on a lesser role on this D corps.
“I feel strong physically and I’m positive and I believe I can still play this game and contribute to the team and I want to stay in Boston,” Chara said. “I want to be a Boston Bruin. I want to continue to lead by example and share my experiences and my game skills with the younger players and my teammates. That hasn’t changed. I’m committed and we’ll see what’s going to happen next.”