Following the completion of the draft yesterday, Boston GM Don Sweeney met with reporters including Eric Russo of the Bruins’ team website to discuss several items pertaining to his team for next season. While talks have begun regarding an extension for winger David Pastrnak, Sweeney was quick to mention that no numbers regarding the length of a new deal or financial terms but made it clear that the team intends for Pastrnak to be a lifelong Bruin. The 26-year-old is coming off a 40-goal season and has one year left on his contract with a $6.67MM cap hit and should be able to receive a max-term deal (eight years with Boston, seven if he hits the open market next summer) worth a couple million more than his current rate.
More from Sweeney’s press conference:
- The team has not yet heard if David Krejci is interested in returning to the NHL for next season. The 36-year-old spent 15 years with Boston before deciding to go back home to his native Czechia for this past season where he had 20 goals and 26 assists in 51 games with HC Olomouc. When he left, Krejci didn’t rule out a return to the NHL and his return would certainly help bolster their center depth next season.
- Another center they’re waiting for in terms of making a final decision is Patrice Bergeron. The 36-year-old has been suggested to be leaning towards a return but Sweeney stated that no final decision has been made yet. However, Sweeney suggests that the contract wouldn’t be an issue, which suggests that the parameters of a deal are in place if Bergeron does officially decide to return. It’s possible that a final decision is made before free agency opens up on Wednesday.
- Assistant coaches Joe Sacco, Chris Kelly, and Bob Essensa are all expected to return behind the bench next season with new head coach Jim Montgomery. Meanwhile, interviews continue to fill the vacancy created with the dismissal of assistant coach Kevin Dean earlier this offseason as Boston looks for a new coach to oversee their defensemen.
- Sweeney is unsure as to whether or not the team will utilize LTIR to start next season. winger Brad Merchant more defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk are all expected to miss the start of the year after undergoing surgery but knowing that all will return, it would be difficult to make a big signing this summer and then try to clear money midseason when those players are ready to return.