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

Interesting stuff.

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images

Bruins GM Don Sweeney had a media availability this afternoon shortly after the team announced it had signed defenseman Matt Grzelcyk to a new contract.

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

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

While the addition of Craig Smith is a good move, the Bruins have seen one of their better defensemen leave for greener pastures and have missed out on several big-name free agents over the past week or so.

As a result, it’s no surprise that Sweeney was asked about what he expects from the rest of free agency.

“We continue to look for depth opportunities or players that were in trade conversations that we may have a hole to fill,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we have anything imminent to put forth.”

Not exactly encouraging if you’re one of those fans who’s still expecting a big splash.

Interestingly, Sweeney appears to think that the Bruins have players in the system who may be ready to step up and fill some of these holes.

“We have several players that are knocking on the door that we’d like them to see them continue to push, both in our forward group and our back-end,” he said. “We felt all along that we were going to need some internal growth.”

Sweeney also addressed what the team is facing with its salary cap situation.

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

Regarding those RFA guys, Sweeney also mentioned that the team is close to finalizing contracts with Karson Kuhlman and Zach Senyshyn, two of the team’s remaining free agents.

One of the bigger (quite literally) issues looming over the Bruins right now is the status of their captain, Zdeno Chara.

Chara is still out there on the market, allegedly considering all of his options. Still, Sweeney doesn’t appear concerned that Chara could tell the team he’s moving on.

“We’ve...communicated consistently with Zdeno and Matt Keator (Chara’s agent),” he said. “We’re just waiting for him to initiate what he’d like to do moving forward. I feel very comfortable allowing that to take the necessary time and let Zdeno his own make the decisions along that route.”

What makes Sweeney’s comments interesting is the “initiate what he’d like to do moving forward” line. You could read that one of two ways: They’re waiting for Chara to determine if he wants to play another season, or they’re waiting for Chara to determine if he wants to stay in Boston.

The offseason intrigue continues!