Latest on the Bruins and Lightning – August 1, 2017
Update on David Pastrnak’s contract talks and the latest Lightning speculation in your NHL rumor mill.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont reports Bruins general manager Don Sweeney admits his contract negotiations with right winger David Pastrnak haven’t progressed as far as he would prefer. Still, he notes plenty of time and opportunity exists to work out a new deal. Pastrnak, 21, is a restricted free agent without arbitration rights.
Dupont points out the young winger is free to sign an offer sheet from a rival club. Such offers, however, rarely occur, in part because rival GMs fear retribution when they must re-sign their own RFAs. The Bruins can also match any offer for Pastrnak. It appears the winger’s camp seeks a long-term contract (five years or more) worth $6 million annually.
If Pastrnak is unable to reach agreement with the Bruins on a new contract, his options are limited. He can either sit out the season or sign a contract with a KHL team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I doubt Pastrnak will be holding out or heading to the KHL. As Sweeney observes, plenty of time exists to get him under contract. Wouldn’t surprise me if this stretches into September and the start of training camp.
Pastrnak joins Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl, Columbus’ Alexander Wennberg and Vancouver’s Bo Horvat among this summer’s notable RFAs who could be considered tempting targets for offer sheets. But as Dupont points out, that gambit is rare nowadays. I doubt any of them will receive an offer from another club.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: In a recent mailbag segment, Lightning beat writer Joe Smith speculated on the possibility of the club moving a defenseman before the start of the regular season to clear up their logjam on the blueline. Bolts GM Steve Yzerman suggested he can carry eight defensemen but Smith doesn’t think that’s an ideal situation. He suggests Andrej Sustr could become a trade candidate. Slater Koekkoek, who is waiver-eligible this season, could be another option.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Given the recent focus on the status of the Montreal Canadiens’ blueline, perhaps they’ll be a trade partner for the Lightning.
Smith was asked if there’s a possibility the Lightning might sign unrestricted free agent right wing Jaromir Jagr. He said he’s been told they’re not interested in pursuing the 45-year-old Jagr.