Latest on the Bruins and Lightning – August 1, 2017

by | Aug 1, 2017 | Rumors | 32 comments

Boston Bruins still talking contract with David Pastrnak.

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. 



  1. Good morning and Happy August. We all know the concept of a rival team signing an RFA (with Draft Picks compensation) is not a viable option in today’s NHL. Yes it is tempting and appears to be a great way to acquire superstar players, but let’s face it, GM’s will not go this route. I believe this concept should be done away with at the next CBA. I am sure the Players Association will not agree, but the reality is GM’s have operated on an unwritten “code of ethics” stance amongst themselves on this issue for years now. There has to be a better way. I am curious what you guys think. Am I missing something here?

    • According to this entry

      there have been 35 offer sheets since 1986, 20 of which were matched, 13 accepted, 1 dropped and 1 invalidated. The last, however, was in 2013 as GMs have clearly grown wary of going down that route. Hard to determine what the attitude of the NHLPA will be towards dropping it at the next CBA. Maybe it becomes sort of a bargaining chip with some tweaks.

  2. The last offer sheet I can recall is the Flyers $100,000,000.00 over 14 years offer to Shea Weber which Nashville matched (thank God that contract is Montreals anchor now).

    Fear of reprisal is what causes the lack of offer sheets and either team ends up vastly overpaying the players actual value.

    If I was a GM I wouldn’t send an offer sheet to a Horvat or similar calibre player but I certainly would consider it if the player was a young generational type like a McDavid or a Crosby. Then I think the gamble would be worth it. Why would any GM want to anger a fellow GM by offering to over pay a 50 point player like a Horvat? I think any time you have a chance to get one of the best players in the league you need to at least consider it.

    • Shea Weber has a salary of $12m this season follow by 4yrs at $6m per, 1yr at $3m per and 3yrs at $1m per, hardly an anchor. His cap hit is 7.857 per season, I would say after this season if Montreal decided to trade Weber it wouldn’t be an issue. In the last 4 years of contract, teams at the bottom end trying to reach the cap floor, would have no issue trading for a guy with a $7m plus salary cap but only $3m or even $1m in actual salary.

      • Maybe Weber when his contract goes to a mil per season, he’ll have develop an allergic reaction to his hockey equipment and won’t be able to play.

      • It’s amazing people like Ron Dull don’t know how the salary is actually structured and how it will be far easier to move in the later years

      • What’s amazing is one thinks the cap hit of almost $8M/yr for a player who’s way past his prime will be an easy move. Not only that but having an anchor like that contract will restrict any potential moves or signing on that team simply because he’s taking up such a big percentage of the available cap space. But heck what do I know.

      • Exactly what do you know? Guys like Weber and chara don’t really lose a huge step they don’t have the speed to begin with they just use positioning and overall hockey sense. You look at a guy like shattenkirk or Morgan Reilly great speed but not a clue what to do in their own end

      • Shea Weber is still 1 of the most dominate 2 way Dman in the game. He’ll be 32 in 2 weeks & has tons of solid years left in the tank. Chara just turned 40 & is still 1 of the top 50 Dman in the NHL, not the stud he once was but still better than the vast majority of NHL Dman.

        Weber had 17 goals & 42 points playing over 25 mins of TOI/GP the 10th highest TOI/GP for all Dman in the NHL. His 42 points tied him for 18th, his 17 goals tied him for 2nd, his 149 hits 33rd, 157 blocked shots 21st. What decline?

        The cap is rising, slowly granted but still 2 to 3 million every year. There is no rarer commodity in the NHL than a Dman that can do everything. This is not a fun player to play against. According to Toews this is the player he likes to play the least & he was very happy to see Weber move to the east & not have to play him 5 times a year but only twice.

        There is a reason he is always selected to play for Canada at the highest level & logs the 2nd most minutes for them on D.

        Montreal saved 4 mil in real money on this trade, although they took on 4 more years of cap hit as Weber’s contract has 4 more years on it than Subban’s. This is meant as a slight to Subban, love him to just apples & oranges.

    • Actually the last offer sheet was SJ to Hjalmarsson in Sept of 2013, Chicago matched.

      • True. I wonder how many more aren’t included in that wikipedia posting.

      • Thank you Lyle. I remember it being 2013 but thought it was Hjalmarsson. Good call. They said on XM91 the other day Haljmarsson was the last 1 although I didn’t hear the year. That was an odd 1 to as at the time O’Reilly would have had to clear waivers had Colorado not matched. Calgary would have had to pay the compensation but another team could have taken O’Reilly on waivers. That would have been interesting.

        I think if teams felt they could get a player on waivers they would if they could but if they don’t why go thru the motions your just helping the team with the unsigned RFA get a deal done.

    • I’m not certain fear of reprisal has much to do with it & if so it’s nominal at best. It’s a structural issue. All offer sheets need be be amortized over 5 years for the purposes of determining draft pick compensation, so offering an unsigned RFA a deal longer than 5 years raises the draft pick compensation significantly & quickly. Then to get a salary that the other team might not match means your not only seriously overpaying the player but your over compensating the team your trying to steal the player from & lastly the compensation needs to be all your own picks.

      There are a few players now & again that look ripe for such offers especially when the team with the player is right up against the cap. I suggested Orlov last summer, 5 years at 5. Had Washignton choose to match they would have had to jettison a player last season as opposed to this season. The compensation on that deal would have been a 1st & 3rd. A price I’d happily pay as I have Orlov as a #2 Dman after next season. He moved into a top 4 last season & with Alzner gone will be Was #3 this season.

    • @ Ron Jull
      Boring, uninformed, childish and hate based as usual.

      • Dont be so hard on yourself.

  3. Interesting, if Pastrnak camp want $6m at 5yrs, I don’t see that being an issue. He would be 26yrs old and an ufa with 7yrs service. Prefer if Boston made it 7 or 8 years. I think the Pastrnak camp is looking for more then $6m per season, I wouldn’t be surprise they are look for $7 or $7.5 it was reported over a month ago this negotiation was moving along smoothly and then the McDavid contract happen and now they want to see where the market is going.

    • I thought the same thing Caper. Methinks the Bruins won’t go over 6. Pastrnak & Draisaitl are the classic, had a breakout year and want to get paid. Both have obvious talent of top level players, but can you deliver consistently year after year is the fear the GM’s. I would try the same if I were in their shoes, but in reality if you want the big bucks long term you need to do it more than once.
      Sounds like a bridge deal if the player truly believes he can be that. If they want long term security, they need to give away some $$ for the team to assume more risk.

      • If I was the Oilers or the Bruins I would be using Kucherov and sign them both to bridge contracts.

      • Dino.

        I agree, I bridge all players if for no other reason to look them up 2 to 3 years longer & see them fully developed before I decide if I want to give them the 8 year max or less.

        3 year ELC followed by a 1 to 3 year bridge deal depending upon the players position forward or Dman; take twice as long to develop in most cases, how quickly they are developing, followed by a 5 to 8 year deal depending upon who & what they are. That takes most players to 29 or 32 at which point I let them walk if their contract demands are unrealistic for that age.

    • Draisaitl had 51 pts in 72 games without Mcdavid in 15/16 , on a bad team . A bridge deal would be a disaster down the road . IMO . Long term is the way to go if they want to keep him past the bridge . With a reported ask of 9-10 million though that pretty much ends the offer sheet talk . No one is paying that , plus the compensation attatched . Deal taking time because Leon agent be stupid to not wait and see if offer sheet out there , chiarelli not going to go much higher than the comparables , an out of line starting ask , complex negotiation and still 3 months to hammer it out so no rush yet . I still believe and hope it will come in at 8 years and no higher than 8.5 AAV . I’m not sure how ppl see the johansson deal pushing Leon number up , comparable players and the biggest difference being buying 7 ufa years for Johansson vs only 3 ufa years for Leon . That will help chilly keep the AAV down even if Leon agent does have some good arguements why he deserves more than johansson, tarasenko , gaudreau , other comparables .

      • Agree Craig, it is all about the comparable’s.
        The issue is both sides will have their own set!
        By all accounts Draisaitl does everything right in practice, off the ice with training and diet, listens to coaches and has a strong desire to succeed. It all points to success. The only thing to be wary of if you are Edmonton is the sample size is small.
        As you say it will get hammered out. I seriously doubt this will be a bridge deal as they both have reasons to sign long term if the price is right. Only issue is if Draisaitl thinks he can maximize his earnings by taking the bridge, but that brings more risk for the player. It should get done and my guess is 8 years with the over under at $7.5-$8

  4. Flyers have done it before. Just throwing this one out. Put out an offer sheet on Bo Horvat. They need help on their top six and obviously not as expensive as a Dreisidl contract. Just a thought?

    • How does Horvat fit into that roster? C’s already under contract, Giroux, Couturier, Filppula, Lehtera, Laughton, Patrick & Vecchoine. Only Patrick & Vecchoine have to clear waivers.

      Here’s my assumptions for mid summer. Filppula could move to left wing if Phi decides to keep Patrick in the NHL, Read, Weise or Lehtera could possibly be waived & lost or sent to the minors to make room for another young player, flip flop wingers around anyway you want but still don’t see a fit for Horvat.

      Konecny, Giroux, Voracek.
      Raffl, Couturier, Simmonds.
      Weal, Filppula, Read.
      Laughton, Lehtera, Weise.

      Vecchoine, Lindbolm & Vorobyov could all be ready by the All-Star break or sooner if injuries dictate their NHL careers start sooner or they simply steal someone else’s job.

  5. At this stage of the summer you can’t help but wonder which GMs and coaches are looking at their rosters and speculating which, if any, are going to experience the dreaded “sophomore jinx” and so try and add a veteran presence here and there to deal with any such reality if and when the time comes. There are, of course, some who will argue legitimately that the “jinx” is pure myth, and even trot out statistical tables to show that it rarely raises its ugly head. Even so, there had to have been enough well-established instances of a significant drop-off in performance to warrant concern or the term “sophomore junx” would never have been coined in the first place.

    Using 24 points and up as an arbitrary cut-off, there were 27 players to achieve that as rookies (all positions shown are culled from so don’t shoot the messenger):

    leading the way were the Leafs with 6 as follows:
    Austin Matthews – C – 69 pts; William Nylander – C – 61 pts; Mitch Marner – C – 61 pts; Connor Brown – RW – 36 pts; Nikita Zaitzev – D – 36 pts – minus 22; Zach Hyman – C – 28 pts;

    The teams with the second-most (2 each) were NYR, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Philadelphia:
    NYR – Brady Skjei – D – 39 pts – +11; and Jimmy Vesey – LW – 27 pts;
    Pitt – Jake Guentzel – C – 33 pts; and Scott Wilson – LW – 27 pts;
    Chi – Ryan Hartman – LW – 31 pts; and Nick Schmaltz – C – 28 pts;
    Pha – Ivan Provorov – D – 30 pts – minus 7; and Travis Konecny – C – 28 pts;

    The rest had 1 each:
    Wpg – Patrik Laine – RW – 64 pts; Car – Sebastien Aho – RW – 49 pts; Cgy – Matthew Tkachuk – LW – 48 pts; CBJ – Zach Werenski – D – 47 pts – +17; TBL – Brayed Point – C – 40 pts; Col – Mikko Rantanen – RW – 38 pts; Det – Anthony Mantha – RW – 36 pts; Ari – Christian Dvorak – C – 33 pts; Dal – Devin Shore – C – 33 pts; Mtl – Artturi Lehkanen – LW – 28 pts; NYI – Anthony Beauvillier – C – 24 pts; NJD – Pavel Zacha – C – 24 pts; Van – Troy Stecher – D – 24 pts – minus 16

    Be interesting to see which – if any – suffer a noted drop-off in performance this coming season.

    • The odds would favor at least a few experiencing the sophmore slump.

      • It seems the term goes back a ways and originated in other sports like soccer, baseball, basketball and football. In Europe they use terms like “sophomore slump” – “second year blues” – and “second year syndrome”

      • “they can’t all be winners, can they” – willy from bad santa.

        wait… what question?

    • As a long time Leaf fan, I am trained to be pessimistic and, with so many good rookies on last year’s team, the sophomore slump is a perfect reason to be a bit dubious about the 17/18 season. It’s one of the reasons that I think the addition of veterans – Marleau, Moore and Hainsey – makes sense. These proven NHL players should help keep the group on an even keel through the rough spots that always appear in a long season. I also believe in Mike Babcock’s ability to keep a team challenged to improve month by month.
      Time will tell but I like the moves the Leafs have made in the off season.

      • and Guentzel only played 40 games. I guess winning a Stanley cup ring is better than taking rookie of the year.

  6. Maybe Montreal could trade Drouin for Sergachev! Ha! Ha! I couldn’t resist!

  7. I wonder if any of those RFA’s are thinking they take the year, play in Europe/KHL and go to the Olympics? They can thus have a chance at two/three Olympics rather than one potential one in four years. No guarantee the NHL ever goes back to the Olympics….