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David Pastrnak still without a Bruins contract

Bruins winger David Pastrnak, a restricted free agent, has not yet reached an agreement on a contract with the Bruins. Steven Senne/Associated Press

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David Pastrnak remains without a contract for the upcoming 2017-18 NHL season, and Boston general manager Don Sweeney said Monday that negotiations have reached “a holding pattern,” adding that he wishes the process were further along with the Bruins’ talented first-line right winger.

“I haven’t made as much progress as I would have liked,” noted Sweeney, when asked about the status of talks during an afternoon conference to announce Jay Leach’s promotion to head coach at AHL Providence. “We still have plenty of opportunity and time to continue to talk — and we’ll find a landing spot.”


Pastrnak, 21, became a restricted free agent on July 1, following a breakout season in which he connected for 34 goals and 70 points. Technically, he is free to sign an offer sheet with any of the league’s other 30 clubs, but such “raids’’ rarely occur, in part because other GMs fear the risk of retribution when it comes time to sign their own RFAs.

Per terms of the league’s collective bargaining agreement, the Bruins also would have the right to match an offer sheet and retain Pastrnak.

Sweeney confirmed that both sides have submitted contract offers. Pastrnak, represented by longtime agent JP Barry, agent for Joe Thornton in Jumbo Joe’s days here, likely is looking for a long-term deal (five years or more) averaging some $6 million per season.

Unlike Ryan Spooner, who signed a one-year contract extension last week at $2.85 million, Pastrnak does not have arbitration rights. If unable to strike a deal with Sweeney, his only option would be to sit out the season and/or sign a deal with the KHL — the Russia-based league now with franchises in a number of countries.


The Bruins wrapped up their season at the end of April, following a first-round playoff loss to Ottawa. The Czech-born Pastrnak, if signed here, would report to the Bruins varsity training camp on Sept. 14.

Leach promoted

Leach, 37, moved up to the top job with the WannaB’s after only one year in Providence as an assistant under Kevin Dean (recently promoted to the Boston staff). A former Providence College standout (Class of 2001), he spent a dozen years in pro hockey, most of it as an AHL defenseman, and only turned to coaching three seasons ago.

“Just something I’ve always been drawn to,” said Leach, who spent a year in sales with STX, a hockey and lacrosse equipment company, prior to launching his coaching career. “I wasn’t a player that had the greatest amount of skill, but I was able to kind of figure my way out eventually and get to a level I was going for — to do that, I had to think the game a different way. Naturally, I drifted toward the coaching profession.”

Net returns

The Bruins also announced two additions to the Provdence AHL staff, including Spencer Carbery, most recently the head coach of Saginaw in the OHL, and ex-NHL tender Mike Dunham, husband of WBZ-TV news anchor Kate Merrill.

Carbery is aboard as an assistant coach, joining holdover Trent Whitfield. Dunham, 45, who spent nine years guiding goalies in the Islander system, will fill the new role of goalie development coach.


“We just feel our goaltending position . . . we can do a better job overall to giving resources to our individual players on a daily basis,” explained Sweeney. “Whether it’s daily interaction in practices, or video work, supplemental work. Of course, we have prospects that are spread out around as well . . . so more touches.”

Dunham’s addition will allow goalie coach Bob Essensa more time with the varsity, and the two now will be able to offer a guiding hand to all Boston goalie prospects, throughout the pro and amateur ranks.

Sweeney, who went into the offseason with the thought of landing another backup to No. 1 tender Tuukka Rask, now sounds as if he will open camp with Anton Khudobin still slated as the No. 2, albeit with Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre expected to challenge for the spot.

“Our goaltending right now is where we’re at,” said Sweeney. “You never say never, but . . . ”

Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at kevin.dupont@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeKPD.