Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney offers extremely grim outlook for one free agent

Boston Burins GM Don Sweeney all but shut the door on one of his key free agents returning with the Black and Gold.
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Rounds 2-7 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

We are just three days away from NHL free agency beginning on Monday (July 1) and the Boston Bruins and GM Don Sweeney have a lot of money that he has to spend to improve his roster for the 2024-25 season. He has a lot of needs including a center and possibly another defenseman.

Sweeney also has several of his own pending unrestricted free agents (UFAs) to consider re-signing, but it appears with each passing day, that it's looking less likely that some of the players will be returning to the Black and Gold. One of the players who is a UFA is Jake DeBrusk. After Boston's elimination in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Florida Panthers, he said he wanted to remain with the Bruins. Still, the player and team have yet to come anywhere close to an agreement on a contract. Thursday in Las Vegas, a day before the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, Sweeney touched on several topics, including DeBrusk and his comments sound like the door is closing on the 2015 first-round draft pick returning next season and beyond.

Don Sweeney all but shuts the door on a Jake DeBrusk return to Boston

Sweeney spoke about DeBrusk and admitted that there have not been many, if any, conversations recently and it appears the 14th overall pick nine years ago is going to hit the open market.

"I suspect that Jake will head to UFA and test the market. Remain consistent that we have been in negotiations with Jake — haven't had any productive talks in quite some time. At end of the day, that's his prerogative to see what July 1 brings for him."

Don Sweeney

If DeBrusk does indeed hit free agency, there is going to be no shortage of suitors for him. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins and Seattle Kraken are all teams that could look to add him. One dark horse team to watch, is the Detroit Red Wings.

If DeBrusk does end up leaving, it's going to be imperative that Sweeney signs a player that is equal to or better than DeBrusk, or losing him for nothing and not bringing in an equal replacement for him is not going to be a great look for the front office. This is, without a doubt, Sweeney's biggest off-season as GM of the Boston Bruins.