Boston Bruins training camp is slated to start tomorrow, and star winger David Pastrnak will not, as of right now, be attending.
Pastrnak is in his home country of the Czech Republic, and according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, will not fly back to North America until a deal has been struck for a new contract between him and the Boston Bruins.
While Pastrnak is still allowed to play with the Bruins without a contract until December, he is running out of reasons to be unsigned for that long.
In the last 24 hours, the pressure has continued to pile on the Bruins’ struggle to resign the 21-year-old. Reported yesterday, Pastrnak has been offered several deals by KHL teams in Eastern Europe to play, and those teams are either matching or offering him more money than the Bruins’ $6 million. If Pastrnak was in North America, he would have greater trouble ignoring those calls from the KHL. Now, geographically closer to the KHL than the NHL, Pastrnak may be enticed if the Bruins don’t meet his bar.
To make matters worse, if Pastrnak signs with a KHL team rather than the Bruins, he is also able to represent his country in the 2018 Olympics. As a young star, the opportunity to represent his country on the largest international stage in the world is without comparison.
Don Sweeney may now have one last chance to make the push for Pastrnak, because it is clear that Pastrnak and agent J.P. Barry are playing the waiting game – and that game is nearly over.
While it seems unlikely that the Bruins won’t come to their senses within the next few days, the team’s season and postseason chances will be at a major risk without Pastrnak. If Sweeney manages to continue the Bruins trend of losing young talent, he will create a gaping hole at right wing for the season, as well as rebrand the Bruins for being a team that refuses to sustain young talent.