David Pastrnak’s Agent Throws Cold Water On Recent Bruins Speculation

Pastrnak is entering the final season of his contract


June 8

However Don Sweeney sees the Bruins’ future shaping up, one thing is clear: David Pastrnak is a massive piece of the puzzle.

Sweeney has had a busy week, as the Boston general manager dismissed head coach Bruce Cassidy on Monday. Now, he turns his attention to a pivotal offseason in which he has to decide whether he wants to augment his current roster with hopes of contending for a Stanley Cup or lean into something resembling a rebuild.

Pastrnak ultimately might be a long-term part of either path. Sweeney said earlier this week he wants to meet with Pastrnak’s camp upon the start of the new league year and discuss a contract extension. Pastrnak will be an unrestricted free agent after the 2022-23 season.

The Bruins are in a state of flux at the moment, a situation that could be further complicated if Patrice Bergeron retires. If that’s the case, and a deeper rebuild makes sense, some have wondered whether the Bruins should trade Pastrnak before he can walk. The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa earlier this week looked at that option, wondering whether the end is near for the talented winger in Boston.

On Wednesday, Pastrnak’s agent, JP Barry, weighed in on the speculation and rumors with a level-headed approach.

“I spoke with Don and David this morning, and we don’t know where this report emanated from,” Barry told longtime Boston Herald reporter Steve Conroy. “We both have a strong relationship with Don, and the plan hasn’t changed a bit. We will sit down in July and begin extension negotiations.”

That last bit might be the most important. At least publicly, it’s encouraging for the Bruins that Pastrnak and his representation fully intend on having the conversation with the Bruins. That means they’re at least open to signing a long-term extension. It doesn’t mean an agreement is imminent or even likely, but it’s better than either confirming any sort of problem or even stating a desire to get to market.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman also spoke to Barry, who essentially said the same thing he told Conroy, confirming (in Friedman’s words) it’s “premature to jump to conclusions beforehand.”

All parties involved have just about a month to get this figured out. The NHL draft begins July 7, so Sweeney seemingly would like to have some sort of resolution before then in case Boston ultimately decided to shop Pastrnak before the draft.

That, however, doesn’t feel like the preferred option for the Bruins. Regardless of how Sweeney and the front office build the next great Bruins team, it makes the most sense to have Pastrnak — who just scored 40 goals for the second time in three seasons — in the fold for the long term.

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