Bruins’ Irwin experiment ends on waivers, Chara set for return

Matt Irwin is one of many disappointments for the Bruins early this season.
Bob DeChiara/Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It looks like Zdeno Chara could be preparing for his season debut after the Bruins made a defense-oriented roster move on Sunday. Boston placed defenseman Matt Irwin on waivers, which he cleared by Monday's noon deadline. Irwin will be sent down to the AHL, meaning the Bruins now have space on the roster for an additional defenseman. That defenseman could very well be Zdeno Chara, who has yet to play this season due to an upper-body injury. 

The Bruins have struggled mightily on defense out of the gate, finishing in a tie for last in the NHL alongside the Philadelphia Flyers for the most goals against through two games (10 goals against). Having the team's captain in Chara back on defense could help a blue-line squad relatively lacking in talent. 

Irwin's demotion, however, is sure to be frustrating for Boston fans. After the team traded away up-and-coming defenseman Dougie Hamilton in June, the Bruins' front office failed to pick up an elite defenseman with which to replace Hamilton. The only blue-liner acquired by the Bruins over the summer was Irwin, and he struggled in both of Boston's first two games. 

That he has not performed well with the Bruins is not a huge surprise — Irwin has never been a reliable or consistent defenseman at the NHL level — but it is a sign that the Bruins are no closer to answering some serious questions about their defense. 

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