Don Sweeney has had a very interesting tenure as the General Manager of the Boston Bruins. I’m going to avoid my natural-instinct to rehash the cavalcade of failures that have taken place under Sweeney. I’d rather not go into a seven-thousand word diatribe. I have a deadline and I have a second job. Instead, I’ll keep it current; and aimed at the extremely important situation that both Sweeney and the Bruins find themselves steering their Titanic towards; the iceberg that is David Pastrnak.
Don Sweeney started his career as the Bruins GM on quite an odd, and mixed-note. He was tasked with taking the reins from previous GM Peter Chiarelli. Without going too nuts on history; Chiarelli was credited as being the architect of the Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup Championship, their first in 38 years. He also was really good at giving bottom-six forwards, especially fourth-liners, second-line money.
The Don Sweeney regime.
Bruins fans like myself were extremely-happy to have someone other than Chiarelli writing checks. In hindsight, Chiarelli was a very-good at trading. It landed them a haul of picks from teams like Toronto. Through some of his maneuvers, Chiarelli ended up with Tuuka Rask and Tyler Seguin with those picks and trades. It didn’t end well however.
Don Sweeney was brought in on April 15th, 2015. The news broke on the same day Aaron Hernandez was found guilty. Safe to say I don’t think many people in New England noticed he was hired for at least a week.
Sweeney has produced some extremely regrettable drafting. During the 2015 Draft, Sweeney selected defenseman Jakub Zboril with the 13th-overall pick, then choosing left wing Jake DeBrusk with the 14th pick. Zach Senyshyn, was selected 15th with the third pick.
One of those players is still with the team.
Sweeney plays “Hometown Don”.
Though his drafting might be as on-point as a beach ball hitting a mound of Jell-O, Don Sweeney has one thing going for him. He has gotten star players to take extremely team-friendly deals to stay with the Bruins.
Without boring you with numbers, take a look at CapFriendly or any site like that. Marchand’s contract is a steal. Bergeron playing undervalued for years, and came back to take a one-year deal. Hell (I use that cleverly), he had Pasta sign a deal years back that is netting him $6,666,667 for this season. David is playing an MVP caliber season.
The problem is that he’s in a walk-year. Instead of locking him up early, Pastrnak is looking at 1’s and 2’s for his next deal. What could have gotten accomplished for $10mill/per, Sweeney allowed Pasta to hit his walk season into free-agency where he can command upwards of $11-13mill/per.
Adding to the misery, Pasta is having the season he is having. He might get a dumb team who is desperate for star-power and a reason to sell tickets to cough-up even $14-15mill/per.
No matter Don Sweeney’s moves that have helped this team (Ullmark, Hall, Coyle, Fredrick, Faligno, McAvoy, Lindholm, Zacha), allowing David Pastrnak to get to this point without being re-signed is unforgivable.
This one move could have a huge effect on the Bruins’ future for a decade or more. Not in a good way, either.
Hometown Don better have an ace up his sleeve.
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