As I said yesterday, David Pastrnak's assignment to the AHL came as a bit of a surprise to many, mainly because not everyone (myself included) was well-versed in age rules, transfer agreements and other CBA minutiae.
Today, a report came out on a Swedish Södertälje (also known as SSK, which I'll use because it's easier to type) website indicating that the Pastrnak situation on North America may be coming to a head sooner rather than later.
The website isn't SSK's official site, but as per a fan in Sweden, it is a legitimate site with connected sources within the club itself; basically, it's not just some Swedes throwing words on the screen. The article is in Swedish, so I ran it through a couple of different translators to work out the kinks and spoke to friend of Chowder Erik Ecce, who is fluent in Swedish, to verify that I had my facts straight.
The author of this report spoke to a "reliable source" at SSK. According to the report, Per Nygårds, the GM of SSK, has been in touch with members of the B's brass in recent weeks, checking in on the status of his star player. This source indicates that, despite his success with the PB's, the Bruins have no plans on keeping Pastrnak in the AHL for the duration of the season.
A cleaned-up paraphrasing of the translation (emphasis mine):
"According to credible sources, Boston's plan for Pastrnak is to play him in a few NHL games and then make a decision as to whether or not he's going to 1) play in the NHL or 2) play for SSK. There is, therefore, no plan for Pastrnak to continue in the AHL."
The report goes on to say that a final decision is expected to be made towards the end of November/middle of December, giving the B's and Pastrnak a few more weeks to iron out their plans.
Another interesting point: Pastrnak accepted the AHL assignment originally, which surprised some people. However, it seems like his original goal of the NHL or Sweden remains in place.
From the report:
"He can also play in the AHL for two years without his contract ticking down. However, it seems to me that Boston isn't interested to go against Pastrnak's own willingness (wishes) to play in the NHL or SSK, and ultimately that is the only thing that counts."
What all of this really boils down to is the fact that it seems like Pastrmania is going in one direction or the other fairly soon. If this report is to be believed, and keep in mind that it does cite sources of unknown origin, Pastrnak may be getting a game or two with the Bruins in the coming weeks. It would make sense for this to be sooner rather than later, as the B's late-November schedule is more forgiving than their early-December west coast gauntlet.
Another interesting note: if Pastrnak did indeed tell the Bruins he wanted to either play in the NHL or with SSK, they must have gotten him to accept the Providence assignment based on a "show us what you've got" sort of promise. If that's the case, it's hard to imagine he could've done much better than he has thus far.
If this report is to be believed, the new year will see Pastrnak skating with the Bruins or back in Sweden. SSK could use the help, as they currently sit in 12th place in the 14-team Hockey Allsvenskan.