In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Zdeno Chara took to Instagram on Tuesday morning to announce his retirement. In other news, David Pastrnak made it clear he wants to remain with the organization past this season. Meanwhile, one of his newest teammates in David Krejci let it be known he would love to play on a line with Pastrnak and Taylor Hall in 2022-23. Last but not least, general manager Don Sweeney told reporters he is considering bringing a player in on a professional tryout offer (PTO), but would not reveal that player’s name or position, fueling plenty of speculation.
Chara Announces Retirement
After weeks of speculation, Chara took to Instagram to announce his retirement on Tuesday morning. It puts an end to an outstanding 25-year career, one which will result in a call to the Hall-of-Fame in the near future.
“After 25 seasons of professional hockey, 1680 NHL regular season games, 200 Stanley Cup Playoff games, and hundreds of international games, I am proud to announce my decision to retire from the National Hockey League,” Chara wrote. “In doing so, I am honored to return to TD Garden today to sign a one-day contract with the Boston Bruins and officially finish my career with the team that has meant so much to me and my family. There are so many people that have helped contribute to my success, including all of you, and I look forward to properly thanking everyone this afternoon.”
As he mentioned, he signed a one-day deal with the Bruins and will hold a press conference this afternoon to discuss his decision. Despite also playing for the New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Washington Capitals, his best years, which included a Norris Trophy and Stanley Cup Championship, came as a member of the Bruins. The 45-year-old ends his outstanding career with 209 goals and 680 points.
Pastrnak Hopes to Remain with Bruins
There has been plenty of discussion on Pastrnak’s future with the Bruins, as his six-year deal will conclude at the end of the 2022-23 season. There had even been chatter that management was considering moving him, though Sweeney has denied those reports entirely. By all accounts, he is hoping to keep Pastrnak around long-term, and it sounds as though the 26-year-old would like that as well.
“Yeah, of course,” Pastrnak said when asked if he hopes to remain a Bruin. “This city is where I got the chance to become the player I am, the human being I am. And the Boston organization has been an unbelievable part of it. I came here as a kid and now I am a man so [it] makes me really happy. A lot of great memories. I’ve said it many times, I love it here. It’s an honor to wear this jersey.”
Pastrnak did continue on to say that he is in no rush to get a deal signed, but by all means wants to remain a Bruin. Assuming this is genuine and not just lip service, it is great news for the organization, as he is undeniably one of the game’s elite talents. Of course, that means he will need to be paid as such.
Krejci Hopeful to Play with Pastrnak & Hall
Though it was over a short time frame, Krejci and Hall showed plenty of chemistry together in 2020-21. By all accounts, both loved playing with one another and produced very well offensively. As a result, many fans are hopeful that the two will be paired together on a line with Pastrnak, something Krejci himself admitted he would be a big fan of.
Related: Brad Marchand: Hall of Fame Worthy?
“That would, obviously, be awesome,” Krejci told media on Monday. “They’re two of the best players in the league. If I get a chance to play with them or at least one of them, that would be great. I’ve played with both of them in the past, so the chemistry shouldn’t be a problem – just get up to speed and talk a lot in the locker room and on the ice. But I think it would be fine.”
This could very well be a combination newly hired Jim Montgomery chooses to go with, though he may be required to do some shuffling until Brad Marchand is able to return, something that isn’t expected to happen until the end of November.
Sweeney Considering Adding a Player on PTO
Speaking with a small group of reporters on Monday, Sweeney let it be known that he is considering bringing one player to training camp on a PTO. However, he wouldn’t reveal the player, nor the position of the player, leading to plenty of speculation.
As brought up by Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, players such as Anton Stralman and Kris Russell remain on the back end, while Tyler Ennis, Brian Boyle and Blake Comeau are available up front. Whether one of these is the player that Sweeney is considering remains to be seen, but could be figured out in a matter of days.
Looking Ahead for the Bruins
With training camp nearing, Bruins fans will have plenty to keep an eye on. Whether it’s Fabian Lysell’s performance as he tries to earn a spot on the opening night lineup, or perhaps it finally being Jack Studnicka’s time, there is plenty to be excited about. Of course, it is also worth monitoring who may be the player Sweeney is hinting toward when talking about the possibility of a PTO.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.