An NHL legend is without a home and it may stay that way. The rumor mill has the Boston Bruins contemplating trades for Noah Hanifin and offering Karl Alzner a PTO. Why? Simply put, Zdeno Chara may opt to not play this season.
NHL Rumors: Zdeno Chara may not play this season, could retire
Here’s the latest chatter among NHL insiders and from what someone out of Boston told me. As has been reported, Chara is not going to rush to make a decision. This was reiterated today in the Sunday edition of the Toronto Sun.
I’m told the reason Zdeno Chara hasn’t signed with the Boston Bruins is this: He wants a full understanding of what this NHL season is going to be before signing on. Bubble or no bubble? What’s the schedule? How does it all work? … The Bruins already have problems considering they lost Torey Krug in free agency, star David Pastrnak won’t be ready until February and Brad Marchand may or may not be ready for the start of campSteve Simmons, Toronto Sun
What I am hearing out of Boston is if Chara is not comfortable with the format and schedule, he may not sign with any NHL team. All of this raises the possibility that the 43 year-old defenseman who turns 44 in March may decide to hang his skates for good.
Zdeno Chara’s comments after elimination
“I’m going to be open minded,” Chara replied to a question about retirement after Boston was eliminated. Well over three months have passed, and should he decide not to play this season, it’s hard not to see retirement as his final decision.
Back in November, Boston Hockey Now spoke with Chara’s agent Matt Keator who explained the hold up. With the current fluid state of the NHL season, including a moving start date, there’s no reason for Chara to make a decision.
Let’s fast forward 30 days later. We now have a target date of January 13, as well as realigned divisions in hybrid bubbles, and we are still waiting on the big man.
Ultimately, Chara will make the best decision for him and his family. He has nothing left to prove in the game. He’s one of the greats to ever lace them up.