Bruins GM delivers strong statement on Pastrnak contract situation

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Just over a month ago, a source close to David Pastrnak told The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa there's "no chance" the Bruins star remains in Boston with Don Sweeney as general manager.

Sweeney has very different plans, it appears.

The Bruins GM said Friday he wants to make Pastrnak a "lifelong Bruin," indicating that Boston is hoping to sign the All-Star forward to a long-term contract extension.

"We’re just talking and being aggressive and saying we’d like David to be a lifelong Bruin," Sweeney said. "Strongly indicated to him we’d like him to be a lifelong Bruin.”

Pastrnak is set to make $6.7 million in 2022-23 on the final year of a six-year, $40 million contract but will be eligible for an extension starting July 13.

Watch: Pastrnak tries hand at goalie ahead of contract negotiations

It's no surprise that Sweeney and the Bruins want to keep Pastrnak, who is their most talented offensive player and in the heart of his prime at age 26.

Only Auston Matthews, Leon Draisaitl, Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid have more goals than Pastrnak (146) since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, and if the B's want to be a serious playoff contender, they can't afford to lose the talented Czech winger.

There is a case to trade Pastrnak, however. Boston has an aging core led by Patrice Bergeron (36) and Brad Marchand (34) and appears nowhere close to competing for a Stanley Cup after a first-round playoff exit in 2022.

The Chicago Blackhawks just netted a first-round pick (No. 7 overall), a second-rounder and a third-rounder for 24-year-old winger Alex DeBrincat, and the Bruins could jump-start a rebuild by getting a similar or potentially larger haul for Pastrnak.

Now that the 2022 NHL Draft has passed, however, a Pastrnak deal seems less likely. Sweeney has already begun discussions with Pastrnak's agent, J.P. Barry, so it appears the B's are serious about keeping Pastrnak in black and gold.

"He’s a superstar in the league and he’s a superstar around the world. We’re fortunate to have him," Sweeney said. "Our meeting with J.P. went well and they’re going to talk to David and attack it as soon as we can."

Sweeney and Pastrnak's camp have yet to exchange numbers about a potential extension, but a deal with an average annual value near $10 million seems possible for the Bruins star.

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