‘It comes down to how far we want to stretch,’ says Bruins GM of contract talks with pending UFA Eriksson

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With the opening of free agency less than a month away, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has said he’s had discussions with agent J.P. Barry about Loui Eriksson, the team’s pending unrestricted free agent coming off a 30-goal season.

Given his production in the regular season — in addition to his 30 goals, he also recorded 63 points — the soon-to-be 31-year-old Eriksson could attract plenty of attention on the open market. If he gets there.

“I met with J.P. and his group this week, and we’ve continued to have discussions to see if we can find common ground. We’re getting closer to July 1. Does he feel the itch [to test free agency]? Maybe. But I’ve said all along I respect what Loui brings to our hockey club,” Sweeney told CSNNE.com. “If we don’t find common ground with Loui then we’re going to have to replace him.

“There have been some good discussions. The onus is on us to display what level we’re willing to commit to Loui, and as he knows on the door to free agency that is important to him. It comes down to how far we want to stretch.”

Despite his contract status, the Bruins didn’t move Eriksson at the trade deadline, meaning there was the possibility they could lose him for nothing if he decides to test the market in the summer.

That was the risk at the end of February. The beginning of free agency looms closer now.

There was also a nugget of info on Bruins’ forward Brad Marchand and his future in Boston.

From the Boston Herald:

The Bruins intend to begin efforts in July on a contract extension for Brad Marchand, who can be a UFA after next season.