BRIGHTON, MA – The bad news is that the Boston Bruins and David Pastrnak don’t yet have a contract extension signed, sealed and delivered at this point that’s going to keep the 26-year-old in Boston for the balance of his NHL career.
The good news is that Pastrnak’s agent JP Barry and the Boston Bruins are in regular “daily” contact with each other and it sounds like both sides are optimistic something is going to get worked out. Certainly, Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney didn’t sound concerned as extension talks may spill over into the regular season with both sides willing to continue negotiations into the regular season.
“Both sides have been open about continuing our talks. So, I don’t think things change at all from that standpoint, unless David takes a different position, but up until this point we’ve been communicating regularly and when he feels comfortable, hopefully, we finalize a deal,” said Sweeney. “There isn’t any timeline on that, but we’re going to have to communicate almost every day, to tell you the honest truth, and see if we can find the finish line.”
It’s not going to be cheap, obviously, and the recent Mat Barzal eight-year deal with the New York Islanders again points to Pastrnak being in the $10 million plus AAV neighborhood for a legit 50-goal threat. But it would be surprising if that’s something the Boston Bruins would balk at as re-signing No. 88 is an organizational priority that even ownership has taken a keen interest in at this point.
Certainly, there’s plenty of thought that goes into Pastrnak reupping in Boston for eight years, and what the state of the Black and Gold is going to be once veteran centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci have moved on. Sources around the game-breaking right winger get the sense he wants to see the direction of the team during the regular season before committing to such a monumental amount of term, and the Bruins acknowledge that while admitting there’s some pretty good pieces in place even after the veteran centers are gone.
“Obviously, a shot-first winger certainly wants to know who his centerman is going to be. We’ve made it very clear to David that we’re very aware of [the center] position moving forward and we’re going to do everything we possibly can to fill that void when that happens. I think that he also sees that we signed Charlie McAvoy long-term, we signed two good goaltenders that are with us, we got Lindholm long-term, Taylor Hall is here for a few more years, we got Brad Marchand for a couple more years,” said Boston Bruins President Cam Neely. “So, we’re not stripping it down by any means. I think he’s certainly been told that, and he recognizes that, and he knows that we’re in a good position this year. We’re here to show everybody that we’re not stripping this thing down. We’re going to continue to build on it.”
For his part, Pastrnak continues to say all the right things while looking primed to have a massive free agent walk year with good buddy David Krejci centering his line.
“Of course, I’m comfortable,” said Pastrnak, when asked if he’s comfortable with the negotiations rolling into the season. “I really worry just about the hockey to be honest. I have people working for me [handling the contract] and obviously I know JP is in daily contact with [Don Sweeney], so I don’t really worry too much besides playing hockey, focusing on a good start and making sure my game is where I want it to be.
“I know they’re talking every day and they’re trying to get something done. It’s good that they are in touch so I’m confident it will get done. It’s a little different than six years ago. There’s no rush because we’ve got a whole season. I’m focused on my game and I’m healthy, and that’s something you don’t take for granted.”
🎥 @pastrnak96 on the ongoing contract negotiations between the #NHLBruins and his agents: “I know they’re talking every day. They’re trying to get something done. It’s good that they are in touch. Confident it will get done.” pic.twitter.com/GTQa3wbCIX
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) October 10, 2022
Let’s be honest, though.
Pastrnak is going to get massively paid on his next contract regardless of where he wants to go and what he wants to do, and he knows that going into what could be a monster year for the right winger. Everybody involved is hoping it’s going to be Boston and there’s no reason to think otherwise at this point, but this will still be hanging up in the air until Pastrnak has a signature on the dotted line with the Black and Gold.