After several weeks of quiet, the Bruins finally took another step in their offseason building Monday afternoon when they announced they had signed restricted free agent wing Jake DeBrusk to a two-year deal.
The Bruins now have a little over $4 million left in cap space. That's not enough to make any major moves (at least not without moving out some salary in the process), but it is still enough to round out the roster and add a solid depth piece or two if Don Sweeney and Co. feel the need to do so.
Of course, one of those pieces could be Zdeno Chara, the 43-year-old longtime Bruins captain who remains an unsigned, unrestricted free agent.
It's been a while since we've heard much about what's going on with Chara, so when Sweeney met with the media via Zoom Monday evening, it was a good opportunity to see if there was any sort of update.
"Nope. Same status quo there," Sweeney said. "Waiting to reconnect with [agent Matt Keator] and Zdeno. Zee continues to evaluate what the landscape of the league looks like and we’ll see where it goes. We’ve had constant communication and hopefully we’ve got a target date here at some point in the near future and we’ll see what the league determines."
That's not really surprising. There have been indications from Chara's camp that he intends to wait and see when the 2020-21 season will start and what it will look like (i.e. bubble vs. non-bubble) before making a decision.
With the NHL and NHLPA currently in a tense stand-off over finances -- not to mention other logistical plans that need to be settled -- it's possible it may still be a couple weeks, or longer, before Chara and everyone else get definitive answers.
Chara could still be a smart value signing for the Bruins, especially given the state of the left side of their defense in the wake of Torey Krug's departure.
As of now, their left side is Matt Grzelcyk, John Moore, Jeremy Lauzon, Jakub Zboril and possibly Urho Vaakanainen if he's ready to compete for playing time. Chara had a $2 million cap hit last season, and presumably could be signed for even less this year given he's no longer a clear top-pairing player.