Mooney: Limit Zdeno Chara’s Time on Ice
Photo Credit: NHL
Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara has been in the National Hockey League for almost 1,500 games. He still has one more season to go.
The 42-year-old has played 875 games with the Bruins, and his last 82 could come next season as he begins his final season under contract.
Chara has been one of the Bruins’ top defenseman, slotting in on the top line at left-shot. But, should head coach Bruce Cassidy begin to decrease Chara’s minutes for the 2019-2020 NHL season?
It would make sense.
On July 1, the Bruins announced they extended defenseman Connor Clifton to three years. Meanwhile, defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo are restricted free agents and are still looking for a contract extension.
If the Bruins are able to resign McAvoy and Carlo, then it would make sense to limit Chara next season, as he has shown that while not only has his speed decreased, his ability to defend has become reliable on the stay-at-home type of style of play.
So, what could the Bruins back-end look like this upcoming season if the Bruins are able to come to terms with McAvoy and Carlo?
Maybe something along the lines of this:
Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug-Brandon Carlo
Zdeno Chara-Connor Clifton
It is time to give the younger defenseman a chance. This way Chara can still be the leader that he is, but still, continue to play just not at the minutes he’s used to seeing.