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Do The Rising Salary Cap Projections Give Pastrnak Leverage?



David Pastrnak

Do the recent salary cap rising projections give Boston Bruins winger David Pastrnak and other NHL players in their contract years leverage in contract extension negotiations?

A week ago, Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman reported that the NHL salary cap is expected to rise consecutively over the next three seasons. The NHL salary cap rose to $82.5 million for the 2022-23 season. That was the first time it has risen in three seasons after rising every season from 2013-14 until 2019-20.

“I’ve seen some preliminary estimates recently which would make me more optimistic on the cap going up sooner whether that’s in two seasons or three seasons, I think it’s more likely than not two seasons rather than three,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told Friedman and co-host Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts podcast last month.

Friedman gave his own personal NHL salary cap projections as well:





$82.5 million



$83.5 million



$87.5 million – $88 million



Approximately $92 million

Boston Hockey Now reached out to one agent and two NHL executives on Monday to gauge the effect this could have on the contract negotiations between Boston Bruins, David Pastrnak, and his agent J.P. Barry, as well as any other NHL players set to become a restricted or unrestricted free agent next July. The interesting common theme wasn’t exactly what Daly and Friedman projected and if correct, not good news for the next few NHL seasons.

“The cap may not go up in theory but not a lot of leverage, as revenues may drop,” opined one NHL executive. There is a major problem with people and disposable income. This is going to be a very interesting year for professional hockey.”

Yikes! That’s not exactly thee vibe or message that was being sent last week.

“Yeah, I’m not sure that’s not a little bit extreme,” an NHL agent told BHN on Monday. “Do I think Friedman and Daly were being a bit too optimistic? Yes. However, I still think things are trending the right way, so yes, I’m going to use that to help my clients the best I can. Teams are slowing going to be able to climb out of cap hell so yeah there’s going to be more space to lock key guys up.”

An NHL general manager agreed with both assessments but said he’s ready for higher salary requests no matter what and thinks David Pastrnak could become the second-highest paid NHLer behind Nathan MacKinnon next season.

“That’s just the way the game’s going right now even through COVID and all the craziness of the last few years,” the GM told BHN. “I don’t blame the player or agent for using whatever tool they can and I’m sure it goes the other way and they know I’ll do what I gotta do. I wouldn’t want to be Donny [Bruins GM Don Sweeney] though, I’ll tell ya that. Pasta’s gonna get paid!”

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN,, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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Let us hope. Bruins and Sweeney can work a fair deal for Pasta on an 8yr deal. Try forcsame as McAvoy. Or definitely under 11

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