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Tuesday, 15 August 2017 18:37

Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney Refutes David Pastrnak Trade Rumors

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NHL Network analyst Brian Lawton tweets trade rumor about David Pastrnak

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney sent an email to the Boston Globe on Tuesday to clarify that he is not trying to trade restricted free agent David Pastrnak.


This came in response to a tweet sent out on Monday by NHL Network analyst and former teammate of Sweeney, Brian Lawton, that speculated the Bruins are trying to trade Pastrnak rather than negotiate a new contract.


Lawton's tweet said, “With what I am hearing I would not be surprised if David Pasternak @NHLBruins is traded. #contractproblems @NHLNetwork


Don Sweeney's email response was brief and to-the-point simply stating, “Not trading Pastrnak.”


And why would he? The 21-year-old Pastrnak is coming off a breakout season that saw him score career-highs in goals (34) and points (70) in 75 games. The Bruins' 2014 first-round draft pick (25th overall) became the team's second most important offensive weapon last year after Brad Marchand. He was given more ice-time and spent a large chunk of it riding the right wing on the Bruins' top line with Patrice Bergeron and Marchand. His talent and skill are rivaled by only Marchand, and Pastrnak is eight years younger.


The Bruins signed Pastrnak to an entry-level 3-year deal in 2014 that paid him an average annual salary of $925,000. With that deal now up, Pastrnak is a restricted free agent. The Bruins and Pastrnak's camp have been in negotiations, but no deal has yet been struck.


Possibly frustrated with the slow pace of negotiations, Sweeney, as reported by WEEI.com, said at a recent press conference, “We're in a holding pattern. I haven't made much progress as I would have liked.” However, in the same breath he said, “But we have plenty of time and the opportunity to continue to talk and we will find a landing spot.”


In an email reply to the Boston Globe's request for comment on Tuesday, Pastrnak's agent J.P. Barry said, “We will continue to negotiate – we still have lots of time. 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.”


Pastrnak is believed to be seeking an average annual salary of about $6 to $7 million.


David Pastrnak winds up - Today's Slapshot


This is what my grandmother would call a tempest in a teapot, or much ado about nothing. I prefer the words of Officer Barbrady, “Move along people, there's nothing to see here.”


This is a bunch of noise. No, not even a bunch; it's just a noise. Brian Lawton tweeted out a daydream he had in order to generate some buzz around his twitter account, grab some new followers. Maybe he's just bored waiting for hockey to start. I imagine the long summer is tough for hockey guys. They can't get their pucks fix in the middle of August, can they?


Kudos to Don Sweeney for putting it to rest as quickly and as succinctly as he could with a firm denial. And I do hope he is being honest about it and there is no trade in the works involving David Pastrnak. Too many young, talented forwards (and defensmen) have departed Causeway Street and had success elsewhere in recent years. Pasta is a home-grown talent who put it all together last season. He's a future point-per-game, top-line winger.


I can see no reason why he shouldn't be a Bruin for a long time to come.


So why is Brian Lawton tweeting fantastical thoughts about trades and 21-year-old Bruins forwards, after all? There seems to be no basis or background information for his wild tweeting.


Or is there? Besides himself, who could gain something by this trade idea being put out there? Don Sweeney and the Bruins, that's who. It gives them more leverage in the negotiations.


Is this ridiculous tweet a fake news leak by Sweeney and the Bruins? I don't know, but I do know Lawton and Sweeney played on the Bruins together in 1989-90. Lawton also served as the GM of Tampa Bay Lighting from 2008 – 2010. I think it is safe to say Lawton and Sweeney know each other on some level. And GMs and agents have done far worse than leaking disinformation to the media to gain negotiating leverage.


Joe Danker

My name is Joe Danker. I'm a lifelong New England sports fan who loves nothing more than writing, talking, laughing, and crying about Boston sports. I grew up outside Boston and have lived and breathed Boston sports since before I can remember being able to think.

I currently work part-time in the Sports department at the Metrowest Daily News where I cover local high school sports. Twelve months ago I started my own Boston sports blog called Title Town on the sportsblog.com network. You may have heard of it (not likely). I moved on to publishing Title Town on the OverTime.news sports network, where I also regularly hosted the popular podcast, Sports Roundup.

And now I'm beyond excited to be a part of the CLNS team!

Boston sports is life.

Follow me on Twitter @Jdanker22.



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