I’m probably in the minority on this judgement, but I’m going to toss this out there for debate. The Boston Bruins NEED to trade Zdeno Chara. He’s going to be turning 40 this season and entering into his final two years of his contract. Two years ago, around the same time the Bruins dealt Shawn Thornton to the Panthers, Chara began showing the first sign of decline. Now, after watching the World Cup Championship games, I’m sincerely concerned about our defensve end this season.
This season marks Chara’s eleventh as a Boston Bruin and he clearly still has the faith of Cam Neely and the rest of the Bruins organization. However, that faith seems to be sincerely displaced. In both of their preview games, Team Europe lost, the biggest liability-lack of speed. Granted, Chara has never been the fastest skater on the team, but he has never been the slowest either. Watching him on the ice for Team Europe, he looks worn out. He simply isn’t able to keep up with the younger and faster players. Instead, he is watching them skate by him and trying to play catch up. This is NOT GOOD for the Bruins. Despite mentioning they were searching the market for a top-four blueliner, they were unable to make any moves and therefore leave us relying once again on Z.
REDUCE HIS ICE TIME
One thing the Bruins could do to help render this situation and make it a little less deplorable is minimize his ice time. Chara isn’t able to withstand 20:00+ minutes on the ice per game. How do we reduce this you ask? Allow Adam McQuaid and John-Michael Liles to pick up some slack on special teams like TOrey Krug did last season. Give them a chance to prove themselves.
HAVE FAITH IN THE DEFENSIVE DEVELOPMENT
The Bruins organization is always gloating about their positive promotions of player development, yet we never seem to see the young guys progress as they are overshadowed and outnumbered by the depth at center or ‘veteran status.’ However, last night in the Bruins first preseason game against Columbus, Brandon Carlo made his presence known. Carlo, 19, was part of the only defensive pair to end last night’s game with a positive rating (+1) and the only defenseman to register a point on the books. As Butch Cassidy told media last night;
“Arguably our best D, if not our best D,” offered Cassidy. “[He showed] real good decision-making, and his gaps are good. I can really only think of one time in the third period he kind of threw a puck away in the middle of a change, and ended up on his wrong side. It wasn’t a bad turnover, but it was just one that he could have made a little bit of a better decision. “
TRADE HIM AWAY
Last but not least, the Bruins can decide to trade Chara to another team. It certainly wouldn’t do any harm to listen to the offers and see what other team have to offer. However, they would have to make sure that the deal would be beneficial financially, to be able to sign younger talent down the line and keep moving in the right direction.