Bean: Cheap? Incompetent? Either way, B’s are worse without Chara originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
I never thought I’d write this, but the Bruins are lucky the Patriots are so bad.
If the Patriots hadn’t kept us on the edges of our seats as we tried to guess whether they were a fringe playoff team or a fringe-top five pick (the answer was neither), we would have occasionally brought up how the Bruins had done next to nothing this offseason.
The most eventful change to their roster came in the form of a departure in Torey Krug. Now, as was the case when Krug left for St. Louis, we’ll talk about them again, because they just lost their captain.
After twisting in the wind this offseason as a free agent, Zdeno Chara signed with the Capitals Wednesday. After news broke, Chara posted a thank you letter to Bruins fans in which he said the Bruins decided not to bring him back.
“Recently, the Boston Bruins have informed me that they plan to move forward with their many younger and talented players and I respect their decision,” Chara wrote.
If Chara does indeed respect the move, that at least makes for one person who does.
With Krug gone, the left side of Boston’s defense consisted of Matt Grzelcyk and a bunch of question marks. Bringing Chara back for low money was a no-brainer, yet the team confusingly signed Kevan Miller, a worse player at a position of less need who’s played 39 games over the last two seasons, for more money at the beginning of the offseason.
Chara is not the annual Norris caliber player he was for years, but he was a safe option to play second or third pairing minutes for the Bruins. That he was available for just $795,000, yet was passed over for Miller at $1.25 million is the type of stuff that puts a general manager on the hot seat. Don Sweeney should be there after this offseason, which also saw the Bruins reach when they made their first pick in the draft.
After signing Craig Smith, a fine middle-six wing, the two carrots dangled in front of Bruins fans were the possibility of 30-goal scorer Mike Hoffman coming to the B’s for cheap or Chara coming back. The most optimistic of us tried our best to calculate how maybe they could squeeze both under the cap.
This weekend, Hoffman signed a one-year deal with the Blues, so there went that, leaving the Bruins with one of their holes up front unfilled. To lose Chara as well when he was that cheap was the cherry on top of the offseason from hell.
The disgusting part is that the Bruins, after cheaping out on trying to make another deep playoff run, will undoubtedly market the hell out of Patrice Bergeron becoming captain.
Maybe it’s tough to blame them. That’s very well going to go down as this offseason’s biggest move that didn’t involve one of their veteran defensemen leaving.
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