The Boston Bruins checked a lot of the “to do” things off their list this week while in Montreal at the 2022 NHL Draft, and one of those was kicking off the integral summer conversation with 26-year-old David Pastrnak about making him “a lifelong Bruin”.
Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney met with Pastrnak’s agent, JP Barry, in Montreal to express Boston’s intentions when the two sides can officially begin contract extension talks next week as No. 88 enters the last year of his deal with the Black and Gold. Needless to say, Pastrnak is going to be looking at an eight-year contract in at least the $9-10 million per season range that will make him among the highest paid players in the league.
Filip Forsberg just signed an eight-year, $8.5 million per season contract this weekend to remain with the Nashville Predators, and Pastrnak has more goals (240) and more points (504) in less games played (510) than the Nashville winger. So expect at the bare minimum for Pastrnak to be north of that at for at least $9 million AAV, but very likely it’s going to end up well north of that amongst the elite players in the league. Pastrnak averages .998 points per game through his NHL career and .471 goals per game while Forsberg sits at .389 goals per game and .829 points per game.
Mitch Marner is a higher-profile comparable right wing (.323 goals per game and 1.066 points per game) that’s making $10.9 million per season on his current contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, even if those lavish Leafs deals to their young players don’t seem particularly prudent in light of the way they’ve disappointed in the postseason. It shouldn’t shock anyone if the electric Pastrnak eclipses Charlie McAvoy’s $9.5 million per season as the richest deal in Boston Bruins history.
What it surely won’t be is the $6.6 million per season team-friendly pact that Pastrnak signed on for during his last contract when he arguably left a little on the table to make it easier to keep the team together.
Since then, Pastrnak has seen friends like Torey Krug and David Krejci move on from Boston for differing reasons, and it’s probably going to be a bit more of a business decision for him while his heart very clearly still resides in Boston where he was drafted, developed and where he grew into an elite game-breaking winger at the NHL level.
Needless to say, the Boston Bruins are ready to pay that Pasta market price and make him the centerpiece of the entire NHL operation in the Hub for the next decade, or longer. That’s what you do for superstar players with vibrant personalities that are as marketable off the ice as they are on it while piling up offensive statistics in his eight seasons since entering the league as its youngest player back in the 2014-15 NHL season.
It’s also what you do for a player in Pastrnak that’s got 50-goal potential now in the prime of his NHL career at 26 years old and excels at the most vital school in the game of hockey, putting the puck in the net.
David Pastrnak joins Cam Neely as the only players in #NHLBruins history with five 30-goal seasons prior to turning 26 years of age.
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) March 4, 2022
“We haven’t exchanged numbers. We’re just talking and being aggressive and saying we’d like David to be a lifelong Bruin. Strongly indicated to him we’d like him to be a lifelong Bruin,” said Sweeney, while characterizing the meetings. “As a hockey player, David could score fifty goals in this league. He’s been a really good player. He continues to be a really good player. He’s a superstar in the league and he’s a superstar around the world.
“We’re fortunate to have him. Our meeting with JP went well and they’re going to talk to David and [we will] attack it as soon as we can. They know the position the organization is in and how aggressive we’d like to be. David has a say in that obviously, so you hope the two things align. And you move forward in an aggressive manner. He’s a big part of the Boston Bruins.”
Needless to say, money shouldn’t be an issue since he’s going to get roughly the same massive amount wherever he goes. And there should be some real trepidation on the Boston Bruins‘ part where they forced to move Pastrnak after watching the Chicago Blackhawks get a relative pittance for young sniper Alex DeBrincat.
There were indications early in the offseason that Pastrnak might be a tad disgruntled with Boston Bruins management based on some of his friends leaving the organization, but there’s never been any indication that the good-natured and fun-loving Pastrnak is unhappy with his adopted US home city or the only NHL organization he’s ever known. A mega-dollar contract extension from the Boston Bruins, or any pro sports team for that matter, tends to pretty effectively tend to any hard feelings and that should be the case if there’s anything lingering with Pastrnak as well.