The Boston Bruins would like to extend star winger David Pastrnak as soon as possible and not let the 2022-23 season become a walk year for him.
“It’s just a general conversation exit wise in terms of having the opportunity at the earliest possible time allowable for us to have a conversation with his with his camp,” Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said when asked Wednesday if extension talks with Pastrnak will begin soon. “And he knows that, you know, there’s mutual respect from David, me and his camp. And we’ll dive right into it the earliest possible time that we’re allowed to and get that indication.”
David Pastrnak is entering the final season of a six-year, $40 million contract that carried a $6.6 million salary cap hit. Since being drafted 25th overall at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and entering the NHL in the 2014-15 season, Pastrnak has hit the 30-goal plateau five times and scored 40 or more goals twice, including lighting the lamp 40 times this past season. Pastrnak has 240 goals and 264 assists in 510 regular season games. He also has 30 goals 44 assists in 70 games in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Clearly, the Boston Bruins do not want to take any chance of Pastrnak reaching the open market as an unrestricted free agent in July, 2023. Sweeney doesn’t expect that nor does he think Pastrnak would want to become a UFA and leave the Boston Bruins.
“You know, there’s never been an indication otherwise that this is where he wants to play,” the Boston Bruins general manager added. “He wants to win. He’s obviously a great player and an important player for us. And we’ll attack it like we have done with all the other players that we feel the same way.”
As for Pastrnak, contract talks were the last thing on his mind when he met with the Boston media for the final time this season on Wednesday.
“I actually haven’t given it a thought yet,” the 25-year-old winger said. “It’s a lot of other stuff to be worrying about the whole year. So I haven’t been thinking about that at all, actually.”
One of Pastrnak’s biggest worries was how he and his wife would deal with the death of their baby son, Viggo Rohl Pastrnak last offseason. The Czech star said that hockey was knocked down a few on the priority list since then.
“It went down a lot, to be honest,” he said of the game he loves. “It’s been a tough year overall for me. So I want to turn the page, pretty much, as quick as I can. We’re in a very much better place than we were months ago. It was tough, so we got it over and feeling better now.”
Pastrnak also acknowledged that he was playing through pain in his team’s first round seven-game series loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Pretty much I played with it for three weeks and it was like a muscle injury, so it just kept tweaking the whole three weeks every day pretty much until that Columbus game that I tore it, tore the cartilage or something,” Pastrnak said. “So yeah, it was no fun. But I’m feeling all right.”