May 14, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) skates away as the Montreal Canadiens celebrate after Chara deflected a shot into his own goal during the third period of Montreal

Should the Boston Bruins consider trading Chara?


 

I hesitate to bring this topic up so soon after the rabid fan reaction to the Bruins deciding not re-sign Shawn Thornton. It’s always a sensitive subject for Bruins fans and even more so when mentioning someone of Zdeno Chara’s ilk. The B’s captain has given his team (and fans) so much to cheer about over the years including a Stanley Cup. But we have to ask ourselves, at 37 years of age, with a huge salary ($6,916,667 per year for 4 more years), is Chara worth hanging onto when he’s showing signs of decline or should the team start to field trade offers?

Big Z’s offensive numbers are beyond reproach, with excellent numbers of; 17G, 23A, 40P during the Regular season and fair numbers of; 2G, 2A for 4 points in 12 Playoff games. His offensive contributions have never been an issue but his skating ability and advanced defensive statistics are another story. The advanced stat’s show Chara is in rapid decline. While looking at stats such as Corsi and/or Fenwick, it shows Chara is no longer a #1 defenseman and is now a #2.

As time goes on and the continued inability to reduce Chara’s “minutes”, we have to ask ourselves if they wouldn’t be better off trading him now vs trying to make up for his decline?

 

With a much younger player such as Johnny Boychuk set to become a free agent after next season, would the B’s be better off extending Johnny and trading Chara?

Johnny is seven years younger than Chara but is unable to give his team the same kind of offense that big “Z” can.

Boychuk’s defensive scale is on the upward trend vs Chara’s is in decline.

 

So it seems to me the Bruins and Peter Chiarelli have some decisions to make this off season. Trade their captain before he becomes even more of a defensive liability, trade Boychuk while he’s in his prime or keep both and wait until the following season, where they would risk Johnny leaving as a free agent, receiving no compensation.

 

There are also free agent players, defenseman in particular that can’t be ignored. The addition of someone like Anton Stralman from the NY Rangers would drastically improve the Bruins defense. Stralman’s advanced defensive stats, like Boychuk’s, are on the upward trend. The problem becomes, trying to find the necessary funds to sign him with.

 

If I were the Bruins, I would listen to offers for Chara but I wouldn’t pull the trigger unless it made perfect sense. If they were able to make a trade (that made sense), gain financial flexibility, then they could use those funds to sign younger, faster players, further improving the team for now and the future. What would you do?

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Anton Stralman Boston Bruins Johnny Boychuk Zdeno Chara

  • Willy

    Keep in mind…. the Bruins have to re-sign; Krug, Bartkowski, Florek, a back-up goalie, never mind wanting Iginla back and all they have for Cap space is apprx $4.3m, that isnt gonna get it done, they MUST clear some payroll. Also, if they had designs on a Free Agent player of any kind they have no money with which to sign that player. Trading Chara or another high paid player like Lucic may be a must, not an option, that PC will have to decide.

    • Tom

      Is that including the salary cap penalty?

      • Willy

        Yes, as you can see the Bruins are in trouble with the cap vs all the players they need to re-sign, so no matter what there will be a player or players traded, really no way around it.

    • George Costanza III

      What does it say about a front office that got into cap trouble in the past (traded Tim Thomas)
      and comes right back and gets into cap trouble again. At least when Chicago won their first cup
      and then had to get rid of a lot of players they at least had WON the Cup.
      How Stupid is it to go all in Cap Wise and get smoked in the second round by your most hated rival.
      Someone is overrating, overpaying or both, their players. Now who could that be?
      Speaking of trading Thomas we were supposed to get a second round pick out of that deal as long
      as he played anywhere in the NHL in the two years following the trade. I guess Florida doesn’t count
      as the NHL.

      • Willy

        You are spot on, Yes PC has screwed up & continues to screw up by overvaluiing his own players. They can build a championship team for next year BUT they would have to make a couple of trades and sign a couple of Free Agents to get there, PC wont do it though.

        • George Costanza III

          I foolishly thought that a GM’S most important job was to make his team better each
          year. NEWS FLASH Tim Thomas won the cup for the Bruins, he alone made the
          Bruins a Cup winner, I not saying he didn’t have help, but no Thomas no Cup.
          Now how have the Bruins done since? We are going backwards even though the
          3 stooges pictured are saying we are going to sit on our hands. NICE

  • George Costanza III

    Yes,Yes Trade Chara, get as much as you can while you can. Montreal was a wake up call,better yet the year
    before vs Toronto should have been a wake up call. How long do you think the NHL is going to have the REFS
    sit on their whistles like in the cup year vs Tampa. This team is past its Cup window, to many 30 something
    players not enough Talent. Dear Bruins Front Office “Grind This” little tweaks won’t work. The Blackhawks
    made you look old and slow and Montreal made you look past it. Send Chara to Florida along with a number one pick for Florida’s 1st pick in the draft and second round pick.

    • Willy

      The NYI’s are also a choice with the #5 overall pick. Most people dont want to move Chara, see him as something more than what he really is anymore but Im open to moving him as I know they must move a player or players to re-sign all the players they want. Thanks for the comment.