BOSTON (CBS) — With three simple words, Don Sweeney shot down one of the more explosive Bruins rumors to emerge in the past year.
NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton tweeted on Monday that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Bruins GM ended up trading the 21-year-old Pastrnak, which would presumably happen due to an inability to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. This rumor prompted swift, incredulous reactions from local beat writers, who assured Bruins fans that a trade would not happen.
On Tuesday, Sweeney himself responded to an email inquiry by a reporter at the Boston Globe. According to Kevin Paul Dupont, this was the GM’s full response:
“Not trading Pastrnak.”
So that’s that.
Sweeney’s terse shutdown of the Pastrnak trade rumors doesn’t change the fact that the GM publicly admitted to a lack of progress toward agreeing to a new deal with Pastrnak, who broke out with 34 goals and 70 points in 75 games last season. Still, that doesn’t mean there are legitimate reasons to worry about the “holding pattern” between the two sides.
Pastrnak’s agent J.P. Barry also responded to the Globe’s request for comment: “The negotiations between myself and Don have been very open and both sides understand each other’s positions. Hopefully we can agree on an overall structure that is amenable to both sides in the next month.”
Bruins training camp does not begin until Sept. 14. And even if the two sides can’t reach an agreement, Pastrnak’s only options would be to sit out the NHL season and/or make much less money to play in the KHL.
Sweeney seems confident that the Bruins and Pastrnak will, at least, agree to a short-term “bridge deal” if not a long-term extension before the start of the season on Oct. 5. At the end of the day, it’s the best result for both sides.