Make no mistake, the Boston Bruins and star winger David Pastrnak share a mutual desire for Pastrnak to wear the Spoked B for at least another eight seasons after this one. Pastrnak and general manager Don Sweeney have made this clear to the media on numerous occasions and this past Thursday, Sweeney did so once again:
“J.P. [Barry] and I talk almost every day, as Pasta references,” Sweeney said of the contract negotiations between him and Pastrnak’s agent J.P. Barry. “Just trying to find the common ground, and hopefully we get to a point that we can announce, but we’re not there. Other than the appetites that I referenced, communication has been good. Just haven’t found the end point yet.”
Will there a come a time though when Sweeney and Barry/Pastrnak decide that end point will have to be after the 2022-23 regular season and however long a run the Bruins have in the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs is over?
“Donny and the Bruins obviously don’t want that but sometimes there comes a point during a long and grueling season where both sides just shelve it for the good of the player and the team in terms of focus and that doesn’t mean they won’t sign him at all,” and NHL executive source opined to Boston Hockey Now less than 12 hours after David Pastrnak lit the lamp for a seventh time this season in a 4-0 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night.
Focus doesn’t seem to be an issue right now for the 26-year-old Pastrnak who with that goal and an assist on Friday night, now has multi-point games in four straight games and on Friday led reigning Art Ross Trophy winner and perennial Hart trophy candidate Connor McDavid by a point with 17 for the league lead. The better he gets, the higher his contract demands can go and one would think, the more urgency from Sweeney to ink the superstar winger.
However, according to a tweet by TSN and The Athletic NHL Insider on Friday, the Boston Bruins and the David Pastrnak camp are nowhere close on money right now.
Dialogue continues between Pastrnak camp and the B's. But my read is that there's still some sizeable gaps in position. This could be a grind of a negotiation like we saw with Forsberg/Preds, which went to the wire. In each case, player wants to stay put, but what's fair $$$..
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 28, 2022
The Filip Forsberg contract LeBrusn is referring to is a perfect example of what the aforementioned source above is referencing. It wasn’t until July 11, two days before the NHL free agent frenzy began on July 13, that the Predators were able to lock Forsberg to an an eight-year, $68 million ($8.5M AAV), extension. Clearly that’s not an ideal situation given how well Pastrnak is playing but given the difficult task of salary cap forecasting and negotiating in season, that could be the direction David Pastrnak contract talks eventually take.