Without the helpful (if intimidating) deadline of a salary arbitration hearing looming, some significant RFA situations remain unsettled around the NHL. It’s likely that people are waiting to see the other shoe drop with Leon Draisaitl and the Edmonton Oilers, particularly in the case of David Pastrnak and the Boston Bruins.
On Sunday, CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty discussed possible reasons why there might be a hold-up, but also noted that even a $7 million or $7.5M price tag might not be a deal-breaker. Maybe that’s more than some would like to see, but at least Bruins fans didn’t have to panic about losing another highly talented young player.
And then Monday came.
Former NHL GM Brian Lawton quickened some pulses when he tweeted that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if the challenging negotiations prompted a trade:
Whoa. That can’t be likely … can it be?
Now, it’s important to state that, even in Lawton’s case, there was no “trade is imminent” phrasing. Lawton merely said “I would not be surprised.” There was even some razzing about the typo:
It’s far easier to imagine the Bruins eventually coming to terms with Pastrnak than seeing GM Don Sweeney flip a splendidly gifted 21-year-old on a roster full of players who otherwise might be entering the latter years of their primes.
Of course, the Bruins have defied conventional logic before when it comes to moving breakthrough young players, including Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton. (After all, there’s some symmetry to former Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli still having such influence over the Bruins, as his negotiations with Draisaitl could make a big difference here.)
One wouldn’t bet on Pastrnak actually being traded, but times like these make it tougher to shrug your shoulders as the negotiations drag on.