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Bruins would be wise to go long-term with Pastrnak

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators - Game One

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 12: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins looks on during warmups prior to a game against the Ottawa Senators in Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 12, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

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Deadlines cause anxiety, but there are also times when they come in handy.

Perhaps the looming threat of a salary arbitration hearing would be a blessing in disguise for the Boston Bruins and rising star forward David Pastrnak?

Instead, the 21-year-old remains an RFA, and Bruins GM Don Sweeney told CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty that talks aren’t exactly moving along that quickly right now.

There are plenty of instances where RFA negotiations drag into the regular season itself, and that would be a pretty significant concern for the Bruins, who seem like they’re headed for a battle to make the playoffs again in 2017-18.

Pastrnak enjoyed an explosive 2016-17 campaign, scoring 34 goals and a resounding 70 points in 75 regular-season contests. There were flashes of brilliance as he averaged about 14 minutes per night in about a half season’s work in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, but he really took off when given a full chance.

Perhaps a “bridge” deal would be easier for both sides, yet the Bruins might be wise to try to lock him up long-term now, particularly if he’d do so at a reasonable price. (Viktor Arvidsson’s deal would probably stand as the dream scenario.)

It should be a fascinating situation to watch, at least if it ever advances beyond what sounds like a snail-like pace at the moment.