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Don Sweeney gives update on David Pastrnak contract extension talks

BOSTON -- Monday was a big day for the Boston Bruins. They re-signed Patrice Bergeron, brought back David Krejci, and avoided arbitration with Pavel Zacha. 

Given all of that activity, many fans hoped that news of a David Pastrnak extension would soon follow. It was, after all, 8/8 on the calendar, which would have been a poetic date to lock down No. 88 for the next ... eight years.

Alas, that news never came, as the Bruins have yet to reach an agreement with their world-class right winger. On Wednesday, general manager Don Sweeney spoke to the media and provided an update of sorts on the status of that potential deal.

"Ongoing, would probably be the best way to describe it," Sweeney said of the negotiation. "We've been in regular communication. Obviously David's still over in Europe, and the likelihood is he'll come back and we'll talk between now and then. When he gets back, we'll maybe have a better idea of a deal timeline. But I don't have one today."

Sweeney added that he wouldn't comment publicly on any specifics of such conversations.

"But we've been in regular contact with [agent J.P. Barry]," Sweeney said.

Pastrnak is entering the final season of the six-year, $40 million deal he signed in 2017. He's carried a cap hit of $6.67 million for those six years, and he's now due for a major raise.

The 26-year-old has become one of the best goal scorers in the NHL since signing that deal, sharing the Rocket Richard Trophy with Alex Ovechkin in the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season. He's averaged just under 36 goals per season since 2016. His 215 goals since the start of the 2016-17 season are fifth-most in the NHL, behind Auston Matthews, Ovechkin, Leon Draisaitl, and Connor McDavid. Matthews is currently on a five-year deal with a cap hit of $11.64 million per year. Ovechkin's cap hit is at $9.5 million through 2025-26. Draisaitl's cap hit is at $8.5 million through 2024-25. And McDavid has a massive $12.5 million cap hit through 2025-26.

Clearly, Pastrnak's performance has elevated him to a rarefied level of compensation. Whether that payday comes in Boston or elsewhere is yet to be determined. 

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