By: Andrew Taverna | Follow me on Twitter @andrewtaverna
The Boston Bruins GM, Don Sweeny, met with Bruins media today to discuss the recent news that 14-year veteran and Boston Bruins captain has decided to move on and sign a deal with the Washington Capitals. During his media availability, Sweeny addressed the offer the Bruins put forward, the future of the Bruin’s captaincy, and a couple of key players’ health.
Zdeno Chara Moves On
During Sweeney’s press conference, the GM addressed the elephant in the room. Did the Boston Bruins make an official offer to Chara? It certainly seems like they did, and the Bruins legend himself has admitted to receiving an offer. It appears that Chara has had an offer for quite some time.
Don Sweeney confirmed that the Bruins had offered Zdeno Chara a contract months ago. This was never about the money or the contract. It was all about his role on the team. Expecting the 14-year captain to be a reduced, part-time player was never going to work out with the Bruins— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) December 31, 2020
The difference appeared to be in what each person would describe as the role. During his presser, Sweeney said, “We described it as an integral role and just didn’t make a categorical promise that he would have the exact same role he had certainly in his historic career with the Boston Bruins.” The term “integrated role” appears to have been the sticking point. After a 14-year career, Chara appears to be still looking to play as many games as possible, and the Bruins were looking for him to step into a 7th man role from the sounds of it.
Now, What for the Bruins Defense?
All signs point to the Bruins filling the defensive gaps left by Chara and Torey Krug’s departure earlier in the offseason (link to article) with guys already within the system. It’s time to let the young guys step up and play that critical role on the Bruins defensive core. When discussing with reporters how the Bruins would fill those gaps, Sweeny described the situation as “by committee.” That approach may or may not work, but we’ll leave that debate for a different article.
The Future of the Bruins Captaincy
One of the more interesting topics that most fans are intrigued with is, who will be the Boston Bruins next captain? The obvious and clear answer is Patrice Bergeron.
Don Sweeney on next Bruins captain: “I think it’s an obvious decision”— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) December 31, 2020
Sweeney didn’t directly say it himself, but he certainly left it known that, with time, the team will make that announcement. “We’ll make a decision, and it’s an obvious decision,” he stated. There are many reasons it’s the obvious decision, but there is no better candidate at the end of the day.
The Bruins Health Situation
During his press conference, Sweeney addressed the status of both Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. Let’s start with the good news. It appears that Marchand is going to be ready to go for the start of the NHL regular season and will likely be there for day one of camp.
Sweeney, when talking about Marchand, said, “Marchy is doing really well. He’s been on the ice pretty much every day. He will start to integrate into the main group of players from day one of training camp. It’s more of a volume and comfort level for him. He’s done a lot of work on and off the ice and finding his hands and his timing and such now, and his overall conditioning.”
The news on Pastrnak is far more ominous. “David is certainly a longer timeline to return to play and be back on ice in a regular fashion. He won’t initially integrate into the main practice group as he increases the volume in his own return to play,” explained Sweeney. It sounds like the Bruins are going to deal with his return on a “week-by-week” basis, but he is likely to miss the first few games.
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