Two weeks after saying he hadn’t made as much progress in contract talks with David Pastrnak as he would like, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney knocked down trade rumors surrounding the talented right winger.
“Not trading Pastrnak,” was Sweeney’s terse comment in an e-mail to a Globe reporter Monday night.
So enjoy the rest of the summer, Black and Gold fans, it appears the best young shooter in the Boston lineup since Tyler Seguin isn’t going anywhere. For the moment, that’s also the status of his contract talks.
Some seven weeks since reaching restricted free agent status, the 21-year-old Pastrnak remains a wunderkind without a payday.
Rumors — which undoubtedly will pick up as the Sept. 14 start of training camp approaches — have had Pastrnak seeking some $6 million per season on a deal of five years or more. With but three years in the league, and 123 points on his scoring résumé, he was not eligible for salary arbitration this year, a process that might have determined his salary for only one or two seasons.
“We will continue to negotiate — we still have lots of time,” noted J.P. Barry, Pastrnak’s agent, responding by e-mail to a Globe reporter’s request for comment Tuesday morning. “David prefers to sign a longer-term deal with the Bruins.
“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.”
Trade rumors related to Pastrnak picked up Monday when former Bruin Brian Lawton, an ex-agent and ex-Tampa Bay general manager, tweeted, “With what I am hearing I would not be surprised if David Pasternak @NHLBruins is traded.”
With what I am hearing I would not be surprised if David Pasternak @NHLBruins is traded. #contractproblems @NHLNetwork— Brian Lawton (@brianlawton9) August 14, 2017
Though circumstances are different this time, the current snag in talks looms as Sweeney’s second major contract impasse since assuming GM duties in 2015. Fresh on the job then, Sweeney offered a substantial long-term sum to defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who like Pastrnak had just completed his three-year, entry-level contract.
Unlike Pastrnak, however, Hamilton made it clear he no longer cared to play for the Bruins, leading Sweeney promptly to deal him to Calgary, where the 6-foot-6-inch blue liner signed a contract nearly identical, in money and term, to what Sweeney offered. The Bruins reaped three draft picks from Calgary, using them to select Zach Senyshyn, Jeremy Lauzon, and Jacob Forsbacka Karlsson, all of who remain prospects.
Based on his comment Monday night, Sweeney won’t deal Pastrnak, who evolved as one of the game’s top young scorers last season, collecting career highs for goals (34), assists (36), and points (70). Early in the season, he was on pace for 50 goals, but that cooled considerably in the thick of the 82-game schedule.
In 2015, Sweeney opted not to use the CBA to his advantage in such stalled talks. Per terms of the CBA, Group 2 RFAs such as Hamilton then and Pastrnak today must come to contract terms by Dec. 1. If still unsigned, they are shut out of the NHL for the season.
The Bruins open the 2017-18 season Oct. 5 at home against the Predators. On Dec. 1, now 107 days away, they will fly to Philadelphia for a Dec. 2 matinee with the Flyers.
Fluto Shinzawa of the Globe staff contributed to this report.