NHL Rumors: David Pastrnak, Nils Lundkvist, and Joe Thornton
Today’s edition of NHL Rumors starts in Boston with the latest on pending UFA David Pastrnak’s contract situation. We then hop in our Rumors-mobile to New York as prospect Nils Lundkvist is trying to force the Rangers into a trade.
The last leg of the trip may need to make a pitstop at the Fountain of Youth, as we look at what Joe Thortnotn is up to these days.
Lets’ dive in.
NHL Rumors: David Pastrnak wants to stay in Boston
The 2021-22 campaign was another strong year for Bruins’ star forward David Pastrnak. In 72 games, he recored 40 goals and 77 points then added 6 points in 7 playoff contests.
Entering the final year of a 6-year contract signed in 2017-18 with an AAV of $6.667 million, the 26 year-old has made it clear he wants to stay in Boston.
“Yeah, of course,” Pastrnak said Friday of remaining with the Bruins. “This city is where I got the chance to become the player I am, the human being I am. And the Boston organization has been an unbelievable part of it. I came here as a kid and now I am a man so [it] makes me really happy. A lot of great memories. I’ve said it many times, I love it here. It’s an honor to wear this jersey.”NHL.com
Many of the top analysts believe Pastrnak’s next deal would be for max term and in the neighborhood of $8.5M per year. It’s certainly a big contract but it won’t take away his focus on preparing for the upcoming Bruins season.
“I still have the whole season,” he said. “We still have the whole season to figure things out.”
Things will get very interesting come the next trade deadline on March 3, if Pastrnak does not have an extension in place.
NHL Rumors: Nils Lundkvist trying to force a trade
Former 2018 first round pick, defenseman Nils Lundkvist has asked for a trade from the New York Rangers.
“We did request a trade when Nils was sent down last year,” his agent Claude Lemieux told Forever Blueshirts via text on September 1. “We hope something can get done in the next few weeks.”
General manager Chris Drury was asked about the situation and didn’t have much to say.
“I don’t really have any update on it,” Drury said per NY Post’s Mollie Walker. “Obviously, we think he’s a real good player. We drafted him. We’ve worked with him the last number of years. We certainly hope he’s here next week.”
In what can only be defined as a huge risk, Lundkvist is opting to stay in Sweden and not report to training camp. It is without a doubt a play to force Chris Drury into a trade.
Lundkvist, 22, has two years left on his entry-level contract with an AAV of $925,000. In his brief 25 games stint in the NHL he picked up four points.
There’s no doubt that there are interested suitors out there. Some of the most likely candidates are the Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, and the Montreal Canadiens. However, trying to force Chris Drury’s hand isn’t likely to expedite the situation.
NHL Rumors: Joe Thornton reunion with Sharks?
Thornton, 43, registered 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 34 games with Florida on a one-year deal last season. On an Instagram post, his wife said goodbye to South Florida which left many wondering if Jumbo Joe was going to retire.
“I’ve been privileged to play this game for a long time,” Thornton said before the summer. “I don’t take anything for granted.”
For his career, in 1714 games he has amassed 1539 points. The former first overall pick by the Boston Bruins in 1997 also has a Hart and Art Ross trophy to his name.
His good friend, Patrick Marleau officially retired on May 10, 2022 after an incredible 23-year career that saw him leave as the NHL’s all-time leader in games played at 1779. If Thornton were to lace them up for another year, it would make for an interesting storyline in 2022-23.
Well it seems like Thornton is in a familiar place prepping for the season.
“Joe Thornton has been skating off and on with the Sharks since at least Sept. 1,” wrote Corey Masisak of The Athletic. “Jumbo and Mario Ferraro were (l think) the first guys to wear teal helmets during a skate.”
Is a reunion in the cards? We’ll find out soon enough.