Almost a year ago, Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara signed a one-year extension (on Mar. 23) as he made it quite clear he wanted to return for another season in Boston. While the league remains suspended, it should be noted that the 43-year-old has not shown the same enthusiasm of signing a contract. Could that signal the end of his career is coming?
When interviewed recently, Chara’s agent Matt Keator, was quite vague about negotiations on a new contract.
“Not thinking about it right now,” said Keator. “Something we’ll all sit down with at the end of the year — Z, me, [Bruins GM] Don Sweeney — and figure out what’s next.”
The Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont writes that if the season doesn’t resume, there is a good chance that Chara may have played his last game as a Boston Bruin. While there remains a good chance that the league resumes eventually, which would allow Boston to fight for a Stanley Cup, including Chara, there is a chance that the season gets cancelled and Chara chooses to retire.
Chara still is a solid top pairing defenseman for the Bruins. He averages 21:01 of ATOI, while putting up five goals, 14 points, 60 penalty minutes, 101 hits and has blocked 78 shots in 68 games.
- The New Jersey Devils might find themselves in bind when it comes to interviewing candidates for their open general manager and coaching positions, according to The Athletic’s Corey Masisak (subscription required). While the team did already interview former Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis two weeks ago, the Devils were hoping to wait until the season was over to interview candidates that are currently employed. With a delay until the season ends, New Jersey could find itself without a permanent GM in place for quite a while, something the team wanted to avoid. Interim general manager Tom Fitzgerald remains a candidate, which could increase the chances of him getting the permanent job. Another option, according to Masisak would be if the NHL allowed teams to interview candidates during the break.
- The Athletic’s Arpon Basu (subscription required) breaks down the stock of Montreal Canadiens 2018 first-round pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who was lost for the season last week with an injured spleen with little fanfare for a top prospect. The scribe looks at what has happened to the team’s view on the highly regarded rookie last season and how the 19-year-old had lost his confidence during that season and how it hadn’t returned this season, which includes how the centerman was sent to Laval after struggling in his sophomore campaign with just six goals and eight points in 36 games.
- The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports that Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Carson Meyer, who completed his senior year at Ohio State University, has signed with an agent, Jeff Boston of Roy Sports Group. Unfortunately, his next step is unclear with the suspension of play at both the NHL or AHL level. Meyer wrapped up his senior year with a career-high 17 goals and although he could wait until August to become an unrestricted free agent, he is an Ohio native, suggesting he might prefer to sign with the team that drafted him.