One of the bigger storylines surrounding the Bruins going into the 2022-23 NHL season is whether an extension with David Pastrnak will get done.
The Boston winger is in the final year of his very team-friendly contract ($6.67 million AAV) and likely will get a nice pay raise — something Pastrnak certainly deserves.
But no deal was done over the summer and general manager Don Sweeney’s only update was that talks were “ongoing” between the Bruins and Pastrnak. When questioned about his deal upon his arrival to Warrior Ice Arena last week, Pastrnak expressed his desire and optimism to stay in Black and Gold but was just focused on having his first normal summer since 2020.
Training camp officially began Wednesday and Sweeney met with the media after off-ice workouts concluded. There still isn’t much of an update regarding Pastrnak’s contract status, but Sweeney did say he wasn’t worried it would turn into a distraction should the two sides be unable to come to terms on an extension prior to Opening Night.
“I don’t think there’s a concern,” Sweeney told reporters, per video provided by the Bruins. “David would be the only one to ideally speak to that. Perfect world, as we’ve referenced, (we) try and be aggressive to have him sign long-term as a lifelong Bruin. It’s always been our goal. I think David shed a little light in terms of where he was at personally. And we respected that. I’ve had conversations, I’m going to continue to have conversations and I’d ideally like to get it done at the earliest point possible. And hopefully, he feels the exact same way, and his camp. So that’s what our goal is. Outside of that, I’m not going to comment on anything else, other than that’s ultimately what we’d like to do.
” … I really don’t expand until a deal is done. Because things just change. You recognize that there’s factors in play and (comparable) groups and you just try to grind it out. Ultimately, you’ve got to find common ground and the player has to be happy and we’re going to try to do that.”
One of those “factors in play” was the Colorado Avalanche signing Nathan MacKinnon to a massive eight-year deal that will pay him $12.6 million per season — making him the highest-paid player in the NHL. Different positions, yes, but then you see someone like Tim Stutzle and the Ottawa Senators agree to an eight-year, $66.8 million deal.
Also on Sweeney’s agenda is figuring out that pesky salary cap situation with Boston sitting above the $82.5 million threshold by $2.24 million, according to CapFriendly. The Bruins will need to get cap compliant before the regular season begins, which begs the question if they’ll resort to using long-term injured reserve or utilize a buyout option.
On-ice workouts begin Thursday at Warrior Ice Arena and Pastrnak will be on the ice for the team’s first official practice. The Bruins open their season on the road against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 12.
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