Sports Q: Should the Bruins bring back Zdeno Chara?

Chara is set to become a free agent for the first time since 2006.

TORONTO, ONTARIO - AUGUST 31:  Blake Coleman #20 of the Tampa Bay Lightning shakes hands with Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins after the Lightning's 3-2 victory during the second overtime period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on August 31, 2020 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Zdeno Chara might have played his last game with the Bruins following their season-ending loss to the Lightning. –Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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Should the Bruins bring back Zdeno Chara?

Geez, I’m not ready to talk about this team in the past tense yet, and not just because a once-promising season ended so abruptly Monday night to the Lightning in the second round of the playoffs.

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It feels like the end of something bigger, and it was clear the Bruins players, who for much of the season seemed capable of redeeming last season’s Game 7 loss to the Blues in the Cup Final, were thinking that way too.

David Krejci, a Bruin since the 2006-07 season, kept his head down and appeared to be in tears for much of a postgame Zoom call with the media. Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand also acknowledged that there might be some changes to their core next season, as did coach Bruce Cassidy.

The Bruins have had a terrific last 10 years, winning the Cup in 2011, and reaching the Final in ’13 and ’19. They were almost always a contender, and won the Presidents’ Trophy this year for the most regular season points. But with Chara now 43 years old, Tuukka Rask’s future uncertain after he left the team during the playoffs, and offensive-minded defenseman Torey Krug a free agent, it’s clear there will be changes, perhaps bigger ones than we know.

I hope that doesn’t happen, and while the NBC Sports broadcasters were speculating that this was the end for Chara in Boston (almost as if they knew something), I do hope he has one more year in him. The core is still enviable, with Marchand, Bergeron, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy all exceptional players, and some quality depth with the likes of Charlie Coyle, Brandon Carlo, and Krejci.

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Chara has slowed down a lot, but he’s still intimidating and a true leader. The Bruins would need to find a way to reduce his ice time and responsibility to keep him fresh, but he’s still capable of being an important player on a contending team. That should be with the Bruins, for one more year.

What does everyone else think? Should the Bruins bring back Zdeno Chara? I’ll hear you in the comments.

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