The Boston Bruins firing head coach Bruce Cassidy might not be their only unpopular move of the offseason.
If general manager Don Sweeney and the B's front office opt for a full-on rebuild, we may have seen the last of star winger David Pastrnak in a Bruins sweater. The 26-year-old is heading into the final year of his contract and if the two sides can't agree on an extension, Boston may have no choice but to trade him. Letting a player of his caliber walk for nothing wouldn't be wise.
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The Bruins can offer Pastrnak an eight-year max-term extension, but whether he'd want to re-sign with so much uncertainty surrounding the organization is unclear. And according to The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa, Pastrnak isn't thrilled about how Sweeney handled things with his former teammates, Torey Krug and David Krejci.
“88 had seen how Don has treated his two best friends,” a source close to Pastrnak told Shinzawa. “No chance he comes back with Sweens as GM.”
As Shinzawa notes, there's always a chance if the Bruins come to Pastrnak with an enticing offer. Still, that anecdote doesn't exactly inspire optimism in Pastrnak's future with the team.
The odds of a Pastrnak deal undoubtedly will increase if Patrice Bergeron retires or signs elsewhere. That, along with the fact Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy will miss significant time next season after undergoing surgeries, will give Pastrnak plenty to think about this summer.
B's fans will hope to see Pastrnak back in the fold for what already looks to be a bleak 2022-23 campaign. He's coming off another stellar season during which he tallied 40 goals and 37 assists for a total of 77 points in 72 games.