MONTREAL – For the first time in three years, the NHL Draft is being held in-person and with all 32 NHL general managers convening at multiple hotel lobbies and pubs in downtown Montreal, NHL trade and free agent chatter is reaching a crescendo.
At this point, because it’s illegal under the new CBA, there have been no real negotiations on a contract extension for Boston Bruins superstar winger David Pastrnak. Maybe it’s just optimism or maybe it’s a bit more based on recent email reply to Boston Hockey Now from Pastrnak’s agent J.P. Barry on Tuesday and then Bruins team President Cam Neely’s comments to the media in his pre-NHL Draft availability on Wednesday
On Thursday, Barry confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that he and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney would begin a conversation on an extension just after July 13, the start of NHL Free Agency.
“Don wants to get together right after July 13,” Barry replied.
On Wednesday, in his pre-NHL Draft media availability, Neely confirmed that the conversation will take place a bit sooner.
“I believe Don’s meeting with his agent here in Montreal so we’ll see where that goes but I feel very positive about it,” Neely said of the Pastrnak situation.
Remember to that Barry already denied an Athletic report that there was a rift between Pastrnak and Don Sweeney.
Did something happen between the Barry email and Neely’s comments on David Pastrnak Wednesday?
Here’s one NHL executive’s opinion or theory:
“I think the fact that Bergeron’s likely back and maybe even Pasta’s mentor in Krejci and the fact the Bruins aren’t quite ready for a rebuild but rather another run for the Cup has Pasta excited,” the source said. “If they can somehow work around the cap, stay above water with Marchand, Mac, [McAvoy] and Grizz [Grzelcyk] out, they getting three big additions in the dog days of the season when teams are dragging. They could have another run in them.”
Neely seemed to share a similar sentiment Wednesday.
“If you look at some of our players, it’s hard to just tear it down right now,” said Neely. “With the Pastrnak’s; we just signed Lindholm for eight years, we got Charlie locked up for another eight years. …Carlo, Ullmark, Swayman, I mean we’ve got guys hopefully we can build on right now and hopefully keep this train rolling.”