Don Sweeney provides updates on David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci before free agency

Bergeron and Krejci are mulling returns to Boston while Pastrnak is considering whether to remain a Bruin for the long-term future.

What happens with David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron will likely be the biggest headlines for the Bruins this offseason. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

With the 2022 NHL Entry Draft behind us, the Bruins enter the meat of a very important offseason.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has several key decisions to make, one of them being whether or not to extend star winger David Pastrnak. Ahead of the draft, Sweeney said he was scheduled to meet with Pastrnak’s agents, J.P. Barry and Ales Volek. Following the conclusion of the draft on Friday, Sweeney told reporters in Montreal that the meeting with Pastrnak’s agents did happen.

“The meeting with J.P. and Ales went well,” Sweeney said. “They’re going to talk to David and attack it as soon as we can. They know the position the organization is in and how aggressive we’d like to be. David has a say in that, obviously, so you hope the two things align and you move forward in an aggressive manner. You’re right, he’s a big part of the Boston Bruins.”

Pastrnak is in line to receive a major payday, either this summer or next. The 26-year-old posted another 40-goal season this past year, making him one of the league’s top scorers in recent years as he enters the final season of his six-year, $40 million contract.


Sweeney mentioned that they haven’t “exchanged numbers” yet with Pastrnak’s camp, but they’ve let them know that they would like Pastrnak “to be a lifelong Bruin.”

“He’s been a really good player, he continues to be a really good player,” Sweeney said. “He’s a superstar in the league and he’s a superstar around the world. We’re fortunate to have him.”

While Sweeney had an update on Pastrnak’s situation, he didn’t have much of an update on Bergeron’s situation. Bergeron, who turns 37 later in July, is mulling retirement though recent reports suggest he’ll be returning for another season with the Bruins. Sweeney’s deferring that announcement to Bergeron, but believes a decision on the matter might be shared by Wednesday, when free agency opens.

“He’s going through rehab, he’s back training,” Sweeney said. “He indicated in a positive manner – Patrice should be the one to make that statement if he decides to. He’s made real good indications to us that he’s trying to do it in the right manner, but until he makes a decision, we’ll wait.”

“Yeah, we could have a final decision by Wednesday,” Sweeney added. “Again, that’s Patrice…he’s the only one who is going to make that statement.”


As the Bruins try to keep the band together, another familiar name might be returning to Boston. David Krejci is mulling a decision to return to the NHL after a year away to play in his native Czech Republic. Krejci, who’s played all 15 of his NHL seasons with the Bruins, returned stateside earlier this summer.

Sweeney believes Krejci’s pending return won’t come down to the contract, but a different factor instead.

“David is a little more of a wait and see where communication lies, where Patrice is just a cut and dry decision,” Sweeney said. “Won’t be an issue with the contract I believe. Krech is just deciding with his family what’s best for him, but there’s been a positive indication. It just hasn’t gotten to the point where I’m comfortable to say if it’s going to happen.”

In order to potentially sign Bergeron and Krecji this offseason, the Bruins will have to open up some cap space. They roughly have $2.4 million in cap space following the draft. They’ve also been linked to free-agent centers Nazem Kadri and Vincent Trocheck, who are both likely to command big paydays this offseason.

With Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, and Matt Grzelcyk all expected to miss the start of the season, one way to create cap space is to put them on the long-term injured reserve. Sweeney’s open to doing that, but realizes it would create complications with cap down the line because they’re all slated to return before the calendar turns to 2023.


“It depends on what we do in the next couple of days, if we do add,” Sweeney said. “It’s not ideal, but it exists for us because we’d have significant money. We do have to prepare for them coming back. It’s not like you can pre-spend and hope [ to remain under the cap].”

Because the Bruins are in a tricky cap situation, Sweeney doesn’t believe a Kadri or a Trocheck will be coming to Boston.

“There’s not going to be a high-end player coming in (via free agency), that’s just a result of where we are in our cap situation,” Sweeney said.


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