Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Report: David Pastrnak could play in KHL next season

Ty Anderson
September 11, 2017 - 9:04 pm

Just a few days away from the official start of Bruins training camp, it appears that the camp for restricted free agent David Pastrnak will now look for options outside the NHL.

According to KHL insider Aivis Kalnins, there’s been ‘rumblings’ that the 21-year-old Pastrnak could be bound for the KHL, and that he has offers on the table. Citing the Olympics as a possible motive for a move to the KHL, Pastrnak’s European agent also told Kalnins that “not much would change if we decided to go that direction for a year.”

In a negotiation that’s come with little progress, with the Bruins and Pastrnak separated by about $2 million on average annual value, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has repeated many of the same lines, with little refusal to deviate from his current plan.

“We’re just going to continue to talk and try and find common ground,” Sweeney, who seems to be on autopilot with the number of times he’s said that line this summer, once again told the Providence Journal’s Mark Divver on Monday.

The Bruins have been afforded this approach because they essentially control Pastrnak’s NHL path this season, as he was not eligible for arbitration this summer. That means, barring an unlikely offer sheet from a rival NHL team, which is something that’s almost never done, that it’s the Bruins or bust for the Czech winger this season.

Threats of KHL deals are nothing new, as Torey Krug reportedly had a sizeable offer from the top league in Russia when he was a late summer holdout with the Bruins in 2014, and the Red Wings’ Andreas Athanasiou has tried this tactic this summer, reportedly ‘considering’ deals from the KHL as attempted leverage over the Red Wings.

Pastrnak was second in both goals (34) and points (70) among B’s skaters last season.

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