The David Pastrnak holdout is over.
On the day the Bruins opened training camp, a source confirms that the 21-year-old right winger signed a six-year deal that will pay him $40 million, for an average annual value of $6.67 million. The contract puts Pastrnak on the same level as comparable players like Filip Forsberg and Johnny Gaudreau, and also allows him to hit unrestricted free agency at the young age of 27.
This turns out to be a good deal for the Bruins, as they avoided paying Pastrnak more than either Cup-winning veteran players Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, and slid in underneath the $7 million per season that Pastrnak could have demanded. The Bruins and Pastrnak’s camp both discussed longer deals with seven- and eight-year terms, but couldn’t close the gap on a deal where Boston would have been buying out expensive unrestricted free agent years at the back end of the contract.
Given the numbers for Leon Draisaitl (eight-year contract worth $8.5 million per season) and Vladimir Tarasenko (eight years, $7.5 million per season), the deal has to be considered a good one for general manager Don Sweeney and the Bruins. They were able to pay Pastrnak very close to fair market value, lock him up for a lengthy period, and lose virtually zero time in training camp . That’s good news all around for the B's, who absolutely needed to lock down a player who busted out for 34 goals and 70 points last season and is the kind of speed, skilled, game-breaking force they'll be building around for the next decade.
Pastrnak is expected to fly to Boston on Friday, per a source with knowledge of the situation, and will likely be on the ice with his Bruins teammates by the weekend.
TSN's Darren Dreger was the first to report a six-year contract agreement between the Bruins and Pastrnak.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while the Bruins are going into troll mode.
*Here is the aforementioned “troll mode” for the Bruins now that they’ve clinched a playoff berth. They came out with a marketing campaign where they’re dragging FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Felger for his early season take that the Bruins season is over. He also ripped the young players at the beginning of the year as well, so they used the sound from “Felger and Mazz” with video clips of David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy dominating for the Black and Gold, and shots of the young players mean mugging at the camera. It definitely shows that the Bruins perhaps care a little too much about what the media thinks about them, but it’s also a fair bit of clap-back toward a take that was a little too harsh on the B’s early in the season.
*What a great piece on the Stoneman Douglas hockey team as they embark on a national hockey tournament after winning at the state level in the weeks after the Parkland shooting.
*Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says the Hawks aren’t shaken even as they’ll be missing the playoffs for the first time in a long time. What a disappointing season.
*Despite a great season, Taylor Hall may end up missing the playoffs with the New Jersey Devils amidst his Hart Trophy-type season.
*Good news for the Toronto Maple Leafs as Auston Matthews is returning from injury ahead of the playoffs.
*For something completely different: This new, updated version of the Karate Kid web series looks awesome with Billy Zabka and Ralph Macchio.
Bruins star center Patrice Bergeron has been dealing with a fractured foot injury since late February. He sustained the injury while blocking a shot in the loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Coach Bruce Cassidy is predicting a return for Bergeron this weekend against the Minnesota Wild if he is medically cleared. He will be evaluated tomorrow.
Depending on the results from the evaluation, there might not even be a need to rush Bergeron back with the Bruins clinching a playoff berth in a 2-1 OT loss to the Blues yesterday evening.
MORE BRUINS: Bruins clinch playoff berth in 2-1 OT loss to Blues
The Bruins currently sit six points behind the Tampa Bay Lighting for first place in the Atlantic Division. Ten games currently remain on the B’s schedule with the Presidents' Trophy also hanging in the balance.
If the B’s decide to make a run for the Presidents' Trophy, Bergeron would definitely provide a boost in play in addition to leadership for the final stretch of the regular season.