Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was ready for the onslaught of questions from David Pastrnak as Bruins training camp kicked off Wednesday at Warrior Arena.
A day after the Colorado Avalanche signed star winger Nathan MacKinnon to an eight-year, $100.8 million ($12.6 million AAV) contract extension, the Colorado Avalanche superstar winger Boston Bruins David Pastrnak arrived at Bruins training camp without a signed contract beyond the upcoming season.
As he will likely remain until he locks up David Pastrnak for a contract extension, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was asked by the media about the status of what he continues to describe as ongoing negotiations with Pastrnak’s agent, JP Barry. While Sweeney would like to wake up on Thursday, find common ground with Barry and Pastrnak and announce an extension, he doesn’t seem overly concerned that from now on it looks very likely Pastrnak could start the regular season. 2022-23 with an extension. .
“I don’t think there’s a concern,” Don Sweeney told reporters Wednesday after the team’s physicals and off-ice practices on the first day of camp. “David would be the one to talk about it ideally. Perfect World, as we mentioned, (we) are trying to be aggressive to get him signed long-term as a Bruin for life. This has always been our goal. I think David shed some light on where he was personally. And we respected that. I have had conversations, I will continue to have conversations and ideally I would like to see this done as soon as possible. And I hope he feels exactly the same, and his side. So that’s our goal. Other than that, I won’t comment on anything else, other than that’s ultimately what we’d like to do.
Don Sweeney then tried to move the scheduled media session to a different topic when he was even more rushed.
“…I really don’t grow until a deal is done,” he reminded the reporter, asking what was next. “Because things change. You recognize that there are in-game factors and (comparable) groups and you just try to solve it. In the end you have to find common ground and the player has to be happy and we will try to do that.
Unfortunately for the Boston Bruins general manager, who faced intense scrutiny this past offseason following a first-round playoff exit and subsequent firing of Bruce Cassidy, questions by David Pastrnak did not stop. To his credit though, Don Sweeney gave thoughtful, honest and insightful answers.
Asked about David Pastrnak’s potential to sign a team-friendly deal — as so many claim, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci did at Pastrnak’s age or around — to help the Boston Bruins stay competitive within the salary cap, Sweeney correctly pointed out that, at the time, both players signed for market value. It wasn’t until years later, due to skyrocketing wages and individual player performance, that the eight-year, $55 million ($6.8 million AAV) contract extension of Bergeron was signed on July 12, 2013, and Krejci’s six-year, $43.5 million ($7.2 million AAV) contract extension. ), become truly “team friendly” offerings.
“The salary cap is a dynamic in one of those equations that we’re trying to put in place,” Sweeney acknowledged. “I don’t think there is much comparison between Patrice and David in their careers. We are grateful that they continue to play hockey and at the level that they are capable of. David is a young player at the peak of his career and I think when Patrice and David Krejci signed their contracts it was market value deals and I expect us to approach the same – like none of our other players, be it Charlie McAvoy or somebody else. Everybody has a – whether you have arb (arbitration) rights or you don’t have arb rights; UFA rights; all the things that line up – and I think we We’ve been pretty consistent in trying to put offers on the market and that’s exactly what it takes to tell you the truth; especially with really good players, they have leverage.
When asked what effect the MacKinnon contract or other comparable mega-extensions signed in the last offseason will have on David Pastrnak’s negotiations, Sweeney tried a little – playfully – the media, but said accepted that this was part of the negotiations and his job as an NHL general manager to deal with these external factors.
“External voices, internal voices of the market. … let’s be honest, the media doesn’t help us in that regard, from a negotiation standpoint,” Sweeney replied. “But we have to do our job and eventually that’s what I’m going to try to do, and we’ve as an organization wanted to keep our good young players and David is one of those players we want to keep. ‘