Zdeno Chara remains unsigned with just a few weeks until the regular season, but that doesn’t mean he’s looking anywhere other than Boston for his next deal. Matt Keator, Chara’s agent, told Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic yesterday that more than 20 teams have reached out on the veteran defenseman, but his focus is still on the Bruins.
Given Keator even mentioned that Chara “still has the option to retire,” it seems very unlikely that the 43-year-old plays for anyone else this season. Still, it’s not a guarantee that the Bruins even have room for him. Team president Cam Neely told reporters including Amalie Benjamin of NHL.com that they “do want to take a look” at some of the younger, left-shot defensemen in the system, while also wavering on whether he thinks Chara would even want to return for the condensed season.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs decided not to give Frederik Gauthier a qualifying offer this offseason, bringing in more veteran options like Joe Thornton as depth down the middle. Now, the 25-year-old center could be heading for a professional tryout with the Arizona Coyotes, as Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reports. Gauthier was never expected to be much of an offensive threat, even when picked 21st overall in 2013, but he has just 31 points in 176 NHL games and doesn’t skate well enough to be a true checking center. If he decides to take the PTO, he’ll have a tough battle on his hands in a crowded Arizona bottom-six.
- Another player that will be fighting for an NHL job is Jordan Nolan, who signed an AHL contract with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins earlier this month but will be invited to training camp with Pittsburgh according to GM Jim Rutherford. Nolan could earn himself another NHL contract with a strong camp, despite not playing a single game above the AHL last season. The powerful winger does have more than 400 games at the NHL level in his career but has never recorded more than ten points in a single season.