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Is Chara An Elite Defenseman?

Adam Proteau of The Hockey News answers some email…

Why is Zdeno Chara always talked about as one of the NHL’s top defensemen? When the Bruins gave him a seven-year extension this year, I had to shake my head.

Sure, he’s got a heck of a reach and a blistering shot, but it seems like (a) he’s always getting burned at the blueline by small, agile skaters (like Martin St-Louis); (b) his shots are never on net; (c) he turns the puck over every time he takes more than two strides with it; and (d) he’s always taking mental-mistake penalties at the worst times….

Certainly, there are people in the hockey industry who feel as you do, but I’m not one of them. Which isn’t to say I put Chara at or near the top of my Norris ballot each year – in fact, he wasn’t in my top five last season.

That said, the guy averages two more minutes of ice time than any other Bruins skater; has missed an average of just five games in each of the past eight seasons; currently is tied for second on the team in plus-minus (at plus-13); and, since he was traded from the Islanders organization in 2001, has been a plus-156 in 639 regular season games.

That may not qualify him for Hall of Fame status, but in today’s NHL, Chara’s skill set is more valuable than you imply….

more Q & A inlcuding Detroit trading Jiri Hudler and a pick for Martin Brodeur….

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: zdeno+chara

Comments

Mandingo's avatar

Adam, do you think a trade could happen between the Red Wings and the Devils if the Wings packaged Jiri Hudler and draft picks for Martin Brodeur?

This guy sounds like the kind of guy who calls into Detroit sports talk radio:

“I don’t understand why the Tigers don’t just trade for Albert Puljols! They could give St. Louis Ryan Rayburn, Clete Thomas, and a second round pick. Oh yeah, the Red Wings aren’t gritty enough and they need more fighters.”

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 12/03/10 at 02:30 PM ET

SK77's avatar

Trade for Brodeur? But the Winged Wheel already has a backup.

Posted by SK77 on 12/03/10 at 02:35 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

came to post something, but i think the facepalm pretty much sums it up.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 12/03/10 at 03:02 PM ET

Stevis's avatar

came to post something, but i think the facepalm pretty much sums it up.

Not quite

Photobucket

Posted by Stevis on 12/03/10 at 03:15 PM ET

detroitdan1982's avatar

I can’t believe there wasn’t a better question than that asked this week, there had to be something more worthy of publishing. I’d love to know where people come up with these ideas sometimes.

Posted by detroitdan1982 from St. John's, NL on 12/03/10 at 03:17 PM ET

Mandingo's avatar

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 12/03/10 at 03:18 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

“I don’t understand why the Tigers don’t just trade for Albert Puljols! They could give St. Louis Ryan Rayburn, Clete Thomas, and a second round pick. Oh yeah, the Red Wings aren’t gritty enough and they need more fighters.”

Posted by Mandingo from The Garage on 12/03/10 at 11:30 AM ET

Hahahaha. Too true. It’s funny when casual sports fans try to talk trades. The NBA trades are the best because of the complicated CBA and salary matches and things. You can pretty much shoot down 99.5% of NBA trade suggestions just because the rules and/or salaries wouldn’t allow it.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 12/03/10 at 03:18 PM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

Is Chara An Elite Defenseman?

I think we should refer that question to TPSH.

The NBA trades are the best

What’s the NBA?

Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 12/03/10 at 03:21 PM ET

Nate A's avatar

What’s the NBA?

No Bouncing Association.

Even if you can work out the cap details, trades simply dont happen unless each team is benefiting. Even if Detroit wanted Marty, what does NJ need other than cap relief?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 12/03/10 at 03:36 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

The NBA is that thing that fills some arenas between hockey games. (not the circus, the other thing)

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/03/10 at 03:49 PM ET

Avatar

Even if you can work out the cap details, trades simply dont happen unless each team is benefiting. Even if Detroit wanted Marty, what does NJ need other than cap relief?


A mulligan on the Kovalchuk signing, a toupée for Lou and a time-machine to get back to the dead puck era.

Posted by Mr. Fnytelhatt on 12/03/10 at 03:51 PM ET

Avatar

what does NJ need other than cap relief?

Coaches, forwards, defensemen, someone who understands the salary cap and more police officers outside the arena.

I’m sure something can be worked out.

Posted by StevieSteve on 12/03/10 at 03:52 PM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

what does NJ need other than cap relief?

Fans showing up to the games would probably be nice too.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 12/03/10 at 04:36 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Adam, do you think a trade could happen between the Red Wings and the Devils if the Wings packaged Jiri Hudler and draft picks for Martin Brodeur?

Holy hell…

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 12/03/10 at 05:02 PM ET

Primis's avatar

Even if Detroit wanted Marty, what does NJ need other than cap relief?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 12/03/10 at 12:36 PM ET

2 or 3 top-two pairing d-men would probably get them excited.

Posted by Primis on 12/03/10 at 05:53 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Moreover, the Wings’ goalie situation

What goalie situation??

there is no chance whatsoever Devils GM Lou Lamoriello would. My money is on Brodeur retiring as a Devil

Who cares what the mistake the Devils will make next, how about addressing how the Wings can get something of value for Hudler ?
Sheesh!

Then again, “value for Hudler” may be an oxymoron, thus the silence on the issue. hmmm

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 12/03/10 at 06:19 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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