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Sweeney On DeBrusk Contract Talks: ‘There’s A Gap’



Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins winger Jake Debrusk told reporters on Wednesday that there was ‘no progress’ on a contract extension with him and the Bruins and that the March 8 NHL Trade Deadline was weighing on him.

“I feel like I’ve been around here long enough to know how the league works in that sense of things,” Jake Debrusk said after practice. “Obviously, there’s different things: guys getting injured around the league and different stuff that happens that’s under normal control. It will be interesting to see what teams are aggressive and what teams aren’t. But, of course, you always have that in the back of your mind. Obviously, two years ago was a little more intense on that side of things. But I think ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been worried.”

Just over 24 hours later, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney appeared on the NESN pre-game show before the Bruins hosted the Vegas Golden Knights at TD Garden on Thursday night. Sweeney was asked about DeBrusk’s comments and for any update he could provide on the contract talks between him and Debrusk and his agent, Rick Valette.

“You have to understand there’s a human element to all of this,” Sweeney pointed out. “This time of year, there’s anxiety for all of us, and being in that room, Barry, you know what it’s like being in a locker room and understanding that variable like you do. Going through it, you have to maintain that human level of respect no matter what you’re doing. So that’s first and foremost.”



Don Sweeney then reiterated the team’s stance on not talking about contract negotiations but did acknowledge ‘a gap’:

“For the player himself, going through these things and being asked publicly, and that’s within the media’s right to certainly inquire, we’ve been very private during our contract negotiations, and that will remain such. We place a high value on Jake, and we’ve negotiated to a level we feel comfortable with in all situations. Look, we respect the player, and they feel where their value is, and there’s a gap. That’s why contracts eventually get done or don’t.

So I’ll leave it at that because like I’ve said, we have other players who are in the same situation. So again, trying to be respectful of the situation is paramount to the organization and in treating the human being at this time. You got family dynamics and wondering if people will be moving around and wondering where they may or may not land, and that’s the hardest part of the business.”

Debrusk is in the final season of a two-year, $4 million contract that he ironically signed on the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline after requesting a trade earlier in the 2021-22 regular season. DeBrusk entered the game against his former head coach Bruce Cassidy – who many believe was the reason for his trade request in November 2021 – and the Golden Knights with just one goal in his last 13 games. The 6-foot-1, 198-pound winger had 13 goals and 14 assists in 58 games.

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