The Bruins held their preseason Media Day today, a chance for management and the players to have microphones put in front of them and expound on any number of topics.
While the players had plenty of decent soundbites too, the majority of the discussion today focused around the words of GM Don Sweeney, President Cam Neely, and head coach Jim Montgomery.
Below, you can find some high-level takeaways from their comments earlier today.
Contract talks are continuing with David Pastrnak
It doesn’t seem like the start of the regular season is going to put any additional pressure on a new deal for Pastrnak, as Sweeney reiterated that the sides have been in frequent communication and will continue to be going forward.
“Up until this point, we’ve been communicating regularly and when [Pastrnak] feels comfortable, hopefully we finalize a deal,” said Sweeny. “There isn’t any timeline on that, but we’re going to have to communicate almost every day, to tell you the honest truth, and see if we can find the finish line.”
Charlie Jacobs chimed in on the matter as well:
“We try not to comment about ongoing negotiations, but David is obviously a special player,” he said. “Ownership is aware that we need to be aggressive in trying to re-up David to a new contract.”
Neely also noted that management is aware that the talent around Pastrnak will play a role in convincing him to sign long-term.
Of Pastrnak having concerns about who his center would be in a few years, Neely said they’ve told Pastrnak they are “aware of that particular position moving forward and we’re going to do everything we possibly can to fill that void when that happens.”
Anton Stralman is still in the mix
There may be new info depending on when you read this, but it sounds like Montgomery would like to have Stralman on his team.
“Speaking for Jim and the conversations we’ve had, he’s comfortable with [Stralman] and [thinks he] would add to our group,” said Sweeney. “We just have been waiting to look at our roster and see what we’re going to do. I’ve been communicating with Anton and [agent] Marc Levine all the way along and plan to speak with him again today.”
Montgomery hasn’t settled on an Opening Night starter
Either Montgomery is keeping his decision private for now, or he’s still going back and forth between Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark.
Regardless, we’re going to see a tandem approach over the early part of the season - it just remains to be seen who gets the first kick at the can.
Depth and flexibility
When asked what made this year’s roster different from last season’s, Neely mentioned both versatility and depth, at least when (if) the team is fully healthy.
Neely cited Pavel Zacha’s ability to play both center and wing, as well as the return of David Krejci, as being things that help plug holes from last year.
He also noted that the team has a number of different options for its bottom six, something that Montgomery is going to have to feel out in the early part of the season.
Good news for Matt Grzelcyk
Signs of good things for Grzelcyk have been floating about recently, including his participation in practice without a non-contact jersey.
In another bit of good news, Sweeney said today that Grzelcyk will not be placed on LTIR to start the season, essentially confirming that the defenseman is ahead of schedule in his recovery.
The “one more shot” vibes are not misplaced
At least in Neely’s opinion.
While leaving the door open for Krejci and Bergeron to continue after this season, Neely had this to say in response to a question about whether or not it’s fair to view this season as one last run with the current group:
“I think it’s very fair...I think this group in the locker room feels like something special can happen this year. It’s a close team, and when I say team, it’s a real team. I think [Bergeron and Krejci’s] teammates look at this and say this might be the last year we have the ability to play with these guys, so let’s take as much advantage as we can. That’s the feeling I get inside the locker room.”