Following his first appearance at Boston Bruins captain’s practice on Friday, Bruins winger David Pastrnak squashed any doubt that he wants to sign a contract extension with the Bruins and remain in Black and Gold past this upcoming season.
“Yeah of course,” Pastrnak replied when asked if he was opportunistic that he and the Boston Bruins can reach an agreement on a new contract past 2022-23. “This city is where I got the chance to become the player I am. …become the human being I am, and the Boston organization is an unbelievable part of that. So, I came here as a kid and now I’m a man. So I’m extremely happy and a lot of great memories and I don’t know how many times I said I love it here and it’s an honor to wear this jersey.”
TSN Insider Darren Dreger quote-tweeted a tweet by Boston Hockey Now puck scribe Joe Haggerty and said that Pastrnak, his agent J.P. Barry and the Bruins brass are talking but ‘nothing close’ yet.
The two sides are talking. Nothing close, yet. https://t.co/1cdTJQTeu5
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 16, 2022
An email to Barry and text to a Boston Bruins team source from BHN were not returned as of 1 PM ET Friday.
After the Boston Bruins were eliminated in seven games by the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last May, Pastrnak was very vague on what his intentions were in terms of signing a contract extension with the Bruins. Then just under a month after that, a report broke in The Athletic that Pastrnak was unhappy with the way Sweeney had treated his former Boston Bruins teammates and good friends like former Bruins and current St. Louis Blues defenseman Torey Krug and David Krejci (now back with the Bruins), in contract negotiations.
“88 had seen how Don has treated his two best friends,” a source close to David Pastrnak wrote The Athletic in a text on June 7. “No chance he comes back with Sweens as GM.”
That prompted one high-ranking NHL executive source to tell Boston Hockey Now heard David Pastrnak was skeptical of the direction of the Boston Bruins past this season.
“The feel I get is that both sides are in a wait and see mode right,” an NHL executive source told Boston Hockey Now on Sunday. “Don has a ton on his plate with Bergeron, Krejci, signing Zacha, and probably making some trades to make that all work. On the flip side, I think Pastrnak and his camp are probably interested to see where things are headed in Boston. There could be some lean years ahead soon. Does he want to be part of that?
However, Barry immediately tried to quell the negativity and speculation.
“I spoke with Don and David this morning and we don’t know where this report emanated from,” Barry told the Boston Herald in early June. “We both have a solid relationship with Don and the plan hasn’t changed one bit. We will sit down in July and begin extension negotiations.”
As the offseason went on, and mega deals were being handed out to Pastrnak’s contemporaries across the NHL, Boston Bruins general manager Sweeney remained adamant that the Bruins were ready to roll up the Brink’s truck for the 25-year-old Czech winger that they drafted 25th overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, but cautioned that talks remained in the exploratory stage.
“It’s part of the business. You know, leverage is out there, and the conversations are ongoing. We’ve made our intentions known all along and we’ll continue to do that, and we’ll go from there. But you know, as far as entering the season with [Pastrnak not signed], not a problem,” Sweeney said after the Bruins locked up centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci to one-year contracts back in early August.. “Ongoing would probably be the best way to describe [negotiations]. We’ve been in regular communication. “Obviously, David’s still over in Europe and likelihood is he’ll come back, and we’ll talk between now and then. When he gets back, we’ll maybe have a better idea of a deal timeline. But I don’t have one today and you guys know me well enough, I’m not going to comment publicly on ongoing negotiations, but we’ve been in regular contact with JP [Barry].”
So while the contract talks between the Boston Bruins and Pastrnak don’t exactly seemed to have progressed, at least the team and their fans know he wants to stay past this season.