One month before training camp and a mere two months away from the start of the National Hockey League’s regular season. Boy, the summer of 2017 has gone by fast.
Yet as we sit here on August 1, David Pastrnak is still without a new contract.
As for the negotiations? Well, certainly GM Don Sweeney was hoping to check one of his top off-season items off the list by now. Instead, the two sides are still without a new deal entering the unofficial final month of summer.
“I’d say we are at the same point that you asked me the last time. We are in a holding pattern,” Sweeney told reporters during a conference call to introduce Jay Leach as the new head coach of the Providence Bruins on Monday. “I have not made much progress as what I would have liked, but we have plenty of time and the opportunity to continue to talk and we will find a landing spot.”
Of course, this isn’t the ideal scenario for Sweeney and company. But, as previously stated, there’s no need to panic.
Pastrnak isn’t the only notable RFA to be without a contract entering August. Other notable players such as Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl are still technically on the RFA market. According to CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Pastrnak’s group is waiting to see what Draisaitl’s second contract will look like.
Further speculation suggests Pastrnak is looking for a salary of at least $6 million per season. Whether or not that changes following Draisaitl’s impending deal is anyone’s guess.
With a little over $10 million in cap space, the Bruins can certainly afford to bring Pastrnak back with a bridge deal or a long-term contract. They are in a good position to match an offer sheet from any of the other 30 NHL teams shall they decide to go that route.
“Yes. We’re in really a good position that way,” Sweeney said about matching any offer sheet and the Pastrnak negotiations back on the first day of free agency last month. “We’re having really good dialogue, we just haven’t found [an agreement].”
With Pastrnak overseas as one of the representatives during their two-week tour of China – along with Torey Krug, Tuukka Rask and former Bruin Hal Gill – any announcement regarding a new deal will wait until the B’s return back to the United States. The fact that Pastrnak is one of the Bruins’ representatives is another hint that the organization still sees him as an integral part of the team’s future.
Among all players selected in the 2014 Draft, Pastrnak’s 125 career points (59 goals, 64 assists) rank second behind Draisaitl (50 G, 87 A, 137 P), who was taken third overall that summer. Pastrnak’s offensive creativity is suited for today’s NHL, and his track record is worthy of a nice payday.
It’s not a question on if the Bruins re-sign Pastrnak, but a matter of when. It’s taking a little longer than Sweeney and company would have liked, but there’s no reason to think that the negotiations will go the route similar to past encounters with Dougie Hamilton and before him Phil Kessel.
David Pastrnak has expressed a desire to stay in Boston. The Bruins want him back. It may take a little while longer, but the two have already agreed on something. Time will tell when they both agree on term and salary.