Don Sweeney said he’s feeling the heat emanating from the Boston’s first-round exit from the NHL playoffs.

But the general manager would not have it any other way. In his season-ending press conference, Sweeney believes his team “left something on the table” in their loss and he puts lot of that on his shoulders.

As for his current contract, his deal runs out this summer.

“I’m under contract right now. I’ve had a discussion later in the year as to an indication of where my path will be. And that will be determined in short order,” said Sweeney.

Exactly how that will be determined is unclear, but clarity may come when team president Cam Neely gives his end-of-season address on Thursday.

But Sweeney certainly sounded like he’s ready and willing to do the grinding work toward getting the Bruins to where they need to be. And he’s ready to take any flak for what happened in the series loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.


“What the Jacobs family, the organization, the history of the Boston Bruins, the standard that we’re being held to is exactly what I aspire to. To be perfectly clear and honest, it’s the aspiration to be best in class, on and off the ice. And when we’re not, I want to hear about it,” said Sweeney.

Sweeney said there’s no timetable on Patrice Bergeron making his decision on a potential retirement, but said the captain has given him an indication that he will not hold up the team in any roster-building plans it may have to make this summer. But Sweeney acknowledged that “it might be years in the making” to draft and develop another No. 1 center like Bergeron, if ever.

The GM praised the work ethic of Coach Bruce Cassidy and his staff and their willingness to attack deficiencies. But there’s no getting around the fact that the team did not produce offensively when it mattered.

“As a staff I think they attack the areas of the game defensively, where we’re not a team that gives up an awful lot. Now, we didn’t score enough,” said Sweeney, who believes there’s more offense to be squeezed out of the back end. “Our expected (goals) dropped from 2.5, 2.4 to 1.6 in the playoffs. Is that a function of just playing against a really good defensive team? That’s what we have to figure out.”

Whether or not Bergeron decides to retire now or not, the organization will need to improve its pipeline, especially with forward prospects in the system.

“I think it’s an imperative need for us to continue to foster creativity,” said Sweeney. “Scoring is difficult in this league. You have to have courage to go to the hard areas of the ice and that’s a hard one to convince anybody. If you don’t have that internal drive, that’s a real difficult process to create in a player. … It’s not about just getting lucky. It’s identification and development and then the player himself has to have an internal engine that gets him to the point where he’s capable of playing and contributing.”


MARCHAND SURGERY?: Sweeney revealed that Brad Marchand is having more tests done on his hip. Marchand said on Monday that he could need a procedure either this offseason or next. The GM did not want to get into the extent of any possible procedure until they know what action is necessary, though he did say that the issue cropping up was a bit of a surprise.

KREJCI STATUS: Sweeney said he hasn’t had any recent discussions with David Krejci about returning to the Bruins. Krejci is currently playing with David Pastrnak for Czechia at the World Championships, and he imagines the two will have some conversations about the topic.

“Again, it has to line up for a number of reasons,” said Sweeney. “It still looks like he values playing the game and being highly competitive and was highly productive. Seamlessly, he would probably fall back into knowing what our team is like and what we’re trying to accomplish. But again, it’s hypothetical for me at this point.”

DEBRUSK’S PLACE: Sweeney on Jake DeBrusk and his longstanding trade request: “I don’t think things have changed, other than he’s happier. Because his life improved an awful lot. And he deserves a lot of credit for that. He went out and did perform. Maybe it’s a clearer head space that he defined. Not really thinking about things. Now he might take some time to re-evaluate and realize that ‘I peeked over the neighbor’s yard and the grass is not necessarily greener. My lawn is looking pretty damn good, too.’”

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