MONTREAL — Development camp begins Monday in Brighton, the same day the Bruins will introduce coach Jim Montgomery in a press conference at TD Garden. On Wednesday, free agents around the league can sign. The Bruins hope to know the status of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci by then.
But nothing looms larger for the state of this franchise than negotiations with David Pastrnak, who can sign a contract extension as of Wednesday. Sweeney said a meeting with Pastrnak’s camp, including agent J.P. Barry, here in Montreal went well.
“They’re going to talk to David and attack it as soon as we can,” Sweeney said after the Bruins’ made their selections at the Bell Centre. “They know the position of the organization, how aggressive we’d like to be. David has a say in that. Hope the two things align and move forward in an aggressive manner. He’s a big part of the Boston Bruins and we’d like him to remain that.”
No numbers have been exchanged, but Sweeney said they have “strongly indicated we’d like him to be a lifelong Bruin.
“He can score 50 goals in this league. He’s a superstar in the league. He’s a superstar around the world. We’re fortunate to have him.
Pastrnak, who has one year left on a contract worth $6.667 million annually, is expected to pull well north of $9 million on an eight-year deal.
Still waiting on Bergeron
No official word yet on Bergeron, who is believed to be returning to the Bruins. “He’s gone through rehab and he’s back training,” Sweeney said. “He’s made real good indications to us that he’s trending in the right manner, but until he makes that proclamation, we’ll wait.” … Krejci, Sweeney said, is “just deciding with his family what’s best for him. There’s been a positive indication, just hasn’t gotten to the point where I’m comfortable saying what’s going to happen” … Sweeney doesn’t expect to put the injured Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk on long-term injured reserve, which could allow the Bruins to exceed the salary cap ceiling by their AAVs ($19.3125 million combined). “Depends on what we do in the next couple days, in terms of if we do add,” Sweeney said. “It’s not ideal, but it exists for us ... we do have to prepare for them coming back.”
Sweeney said Marchand will “be in a much better place” mentally after having double hip surgery. “Physically they’ll allow the time necessary for him to heal,” Sweeney said. “He’ll be fine. He didn’t have any resurfacing and things that creep into long-term care. He had several procedures done that have been done for a lot of guys. In Brad’s mind, he wanted to do both (hips) at the same time so he only had to do one rehab. I don’t think they needed to be done, they could have staggered it, but he wanted to get it over with and be 100 percent on the other side.”
Don’t expect splash in free agency
If you’re hoping for a big swing in free agency (current cap space: approximately $2.4 million), don’t hold your breath. “We have to add to the depth of the club overall, create some internal competition,” Sweeney said. “There’s not going to be a high-end player coming in (via free agency), that’s just a result of where we are in our cap situation” … Sweeney didn’t see an opportunity to move into the first round without sacrificing a roster player … Montgomery is interviewing coaches to replace defensive assistant Kevin Dean. Early indication, Sweeney said, is incumbent assistants Joe Sacco, Chris Kelly and Bob Essensa will remain on staff.