BRIGHTON, MA – There was no doubting who was going to get to lead the post-practice stretch at center ice following the Boston Bruins morning skate on Thursday at Warrior Ice Arena.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 2, 2023
Newly signed right wing David Pastrnak led a quick, lighthearted stretch with a smile on his face and a new eight-year, $90 million contract with the Black and Gold in his back pocket ahead of tomorrow’s NHL trade deadline.
There’s also no doubting who is going to be buying any team dinners for the Boston Bruins for the foreseeable future after signing the richest deal in franchise history that will pay him $11.25 million per season until he turns 36 years old at the end of the 2032 NHL season.
“He better be buying every team dinner moving forward,” said a smiling Brad Marchand. “I think that’s the expectation now.”
On a more serious note, Marchand and Patrice Bergeron were excited to hear about Pastrnak’s new deal that could put him on the same course that they are to be Boston Bruins for life. For a guy in the prime of his NHL career that’s on pace for 57 goals and 109 points this season, having him around solidifies Boston’s status as a Cup and playoff contender for at least the next handful of seasons.
“I’m happy for him. He’s been having an incredible year and obviously his body of work is there. He’s been a great player for this team for a long time, so it’s good to see him getting rewarded,” said Marchand. “It’s nice to have it done so it’s not hanging over his head or the teams’ head moving forward, and he can focus on playing and on us having a nice run here.
“It was one of those things where we knew the situation, but it’s a ton of pressure for players that are in that situation. Pasta isn’t the only guy in that situation. He’s one of them and obviously the biggest deal we were going to make, but there are multiple guys that are pending UFAs or RFAs and it’s a stressful time of year. We just let it go and let him do his thing. Obviously it gets brought up occasionally, but the last thing you want to do is add pressure to that. He played phenomenal and we just need that to continue now.”
Similarly, Patrice Bergeron was glad to see things get done with his 26-year-old former Perfection Line mate, and the focus moves on to going “all in” to win a Cup this spring.
“Obviously it’s great for him to get it done,” said Boston Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron. “Obviously he’s been an impactful player for us. He’s a game-breaker. He has that ability, and he keeps taming his game to the next level so we’re super-happy and excited for him. We’re just glad that we can focus on playing and Pasta is obviously happy to not be asked about it again.”
It remains to be seen what the future holds for 37-year-old Bergeron and 36-year-old Krejci, but the future is bright with Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, Linus Ullmark and now Pastrnak all signed to long term deals into the future.