Sweeney comments on free agency, ‘depth opportunities’ and Zdeno Chara’s status


Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was available to the media this afternoon shortly after the team announced they had signed a new contract with defenseman Matt Grzelcyk.

Needless to say, Grzelcyk wasn’t the only topic of conversation.

The Bruins, by most accounts, have had a disappointing offseason so far.

While the addition of Craig Smith is a good move, the Bruins have seen one of their best defensemen leave for greener pastures and have missed several renowned free agents over the past week.

As a result, it’s no surprise that Sweeney has been asked what he expects from the rest of free will.

“We continue to look for in-depth opportunities or players who were in business conversations that we may have a gap to fill,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we have something imminent to propose.

It’s not really encouraging if you’re one of those fans who always expect a big splash.

Interestingly, Sweeney seems to think the Bruins have players in the system who can be ready to step in and fill some of those holes.

“We have a number of players knocking on the door that we would like them to keep pushing, both in our attacking group and our back,” he said. “We always felt we were going to need organic growth.”

Sweeney also addressed what the team are up against with their salary cap situation.

“I think we are in a very comfortable position to finalize the RFA guys that we need and look for other opportunities that we might be able to pursue otherwise,” he said.

When it comes to these guys from RFA, Sweeney also mentioned that the team is close to finalizing contracts with Karson Kuhlman and Zach Senyshyn, two of the team’s last free agents.

One of the biggest issues (literally) facing the Bruins right now is the status of their captain, Zdeno Chara.

Chara is still in the market, considering all of his options. Still, Sweeney doesn’t seem worried that Chara might tell the team he’s playing.

“We… communicated consistently with Zdeno and Matt Keator (Chara’s agent),” he said. “We are just waiting for him to launch what he would like to do to move forward. I feel very comfortable letting this take the necessary time and letting Zdeno make the decisions along this road.

What makes Sweeney’s comments interesting is the “initiate what he would like to do to move forward” line. You can read this two ways: They wait for Chara to determine if he wants to play another season, or they wait for Chara to determine if he wants to stay in Boston.

The offseason plot continues!


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