PHOTO CREDITS: (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
The last time the Boston Bruins had a young superstar in the making at the forward position, was Tyler Seguin back before his departure to Dallas in a 2013 trade that shook the NHL. Well, the Bruins have another potential future superstar in David Pastrnak.
David Pastrnak was a hidden gem in the late first round of the 2014 National Hockey League Entry Draft. A player deemed “too small” to make an immediate impact in the big leagues quickly proved many critics wrong.
Bursting onto the scene with the Providence Bruins in the AHL, Pastrnak was over a point-per-game, putting up 11-17-28 totals in 25 games played during that campaign. The B’s management rapidly realized the potential of the young Czech and took a chance by calling him to the main roster.
David Pastrnak took this opportunity and made the very, very best out of it. In only 46 games played in the 2014-15 season, Pastrnak finished 11th of all Bruin players in scoring, with 10-17-27 totals and a +12 rating in the trial. This coming at the beginning of a “retooling” for the black and gold, being the first of two consecutive seasons without a playoff berth.
For the next season, Pastrnak played the first 51 games of the year, tallying 15-11-26 totals and a +3 rating. Still, people criticized ‘Pasta’ with many different arguments such as “too small”, “defensive liability”, and other remarks.
Although, they were silenced this past regular season. David Pastrnak had his breakout year and cemented himself as a top line forward and near-elite NHL standout. In the seventy-five times he stepped onto the ice and played a game during the 2016-2017 campaign, Pastrnak put out 34-36-70 point totals as well as a +11 rating as he helped lead the Bruins back to the precious Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first time Pasta has reached the postseason in his career.
David Pastrnak concluded the season with the eighteenth-most points in the entire league, tied with Pittsburgh Penguins forward, Phil Kessel and ahead of many high-caliber talents such as Jamie Benn, Alex Ovechkin, Auston Matthews, Joe Pavelski, and many more superstars in the NHL today.
Now for the past couple months, the main talking point of the Boston Bruins’ offseason, is the task of re-signing RFA David Pastrnak. Earlier in the offseason, the Bruins already agreed to offers with F Ryan Spooner, G Malcolm Subban, G Zane McIntyre, F Austin Czarnik and numerous others. However, the biggest fish has yet to be signed.
Many fans began to quickly assume that the Bruins may be looking to trade away the valuable player, until General Manager Don Sweeney ended that claim, saying David Pastrnak will not be traded from the Boston Bruins.
So, now that that is settled, what exactly is the hold up on the new agreement?
CEO of the Boston Bruins, Charlie Jacobs announced back on August 16th, 2017 that he wants a long-term deal with Pastrnak and it makes perfect sense to do so.
As the National Hockey League continues to grow in popularity and continues to spread across the globe, the salary cap will continue to rise with the profits of the new fans. Therefore in seven or eight years from now, a $7 million to $8 million contract won’t be as much of a gamble.
If you lock Pastrnak up for eight more seasons with a possible Annual Average Salary (AAV) of $7-$7.5 million, it will appear to be a huge saving in only a few seasons from now. At the end of an eight-year contract, David will be nearly thirty years of age. Giving him another contract opportunity similar to the eight-year, $49 million that F Brad Marchand received on September 26, 2016.
Seemingly, the Bruins, Pastrnak, and Pastrnak’s agent are working out the kinks in the contract. Most likely, we are talking $1 million or $2 million of a difference. Regardless, the Bruins should look to offer as much as they need to. Offending the 21-year-old with a low offer is a bad decision and has the slight potential to cause problems in the future.
Nonetheless, don’t panic or worry Boston Bruins fans. David Pastrnak will be joining the roster for the upcoming 2017-18 season and make that push for another postseason appearance. The only thing we await now is the official announcement and contract details.