Bruins

Report: David Pastrnak has multiple offers from the KHL

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Report: David Pastrnak has multiple offers from the KHL

BOLTON, Mass – With the start of NHL training camp just a couple of days away and 21-year-old David Pastrnak still unsigned, both sides continue to brace for leverage and the upper hand in negotiations. The latest unconfirmed development is a report from a KHL Hockeybuzz reporter, Aivis Kalnins, that Pastrnak has “multiple offers” on the table from the KHL if he and the Bruins can’t come to a suitable agreement for the restricted free agent.

As of Monday evening, there was no confirmation or denial to CSN New England from Pastrnak’s agent, JP Barry, in an email seeking clarification on the report.

MORE - Hagg Bag: Emptying out the questions before training camp

The Bruins have a couple of confirmed offers of six and seven years at $6 million per season that are months old at this point. Pastrnak’s camp made a counter-offer over the last few weeks for a maximum eight years that’s believed to be in the neighborhood of $8 million per season. That leaves a wide gap between the organization and the player’s camp on the 21-year-old that broke out for 34 goals and 70 points last season.

It would certainly appear there’s a middle ground there with Pastrnak eventually getting something in the $7-7.5 million per season range that Vladimir Tarasenko earned a couple of years ago in a comparable situation to the B’s right winger. But there’s been little budging from either side and that leaves tactics out of the negotiating playbook, including threats to have the Czech-born Pastrnak skip the NHL season and play in Russia instead.

It’s the same threat restricted free agent Andreas Athanasiou has attempted to use to pry a bigger contract out of the Detroit Red Wings this summer, and the same tactic Torey Krug’s camp used when he eventually held out in training camp a couple of seasons ago. It certainly feels like a ploy to get the Bruins to finally pony up the money that Pastrnak is rightfully asking for. 

The difference in Pastrnak's case being the massive void on the right wing that would be there for the Bruins if the game-breaking forward took his talents to Russia for the season. Boston has botched things with other elite young talents like Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel, and doing so once again with an elite young player would only cement that reputation. 

One potential sticking point to a massive contract for Pastrnak that was debunked on Monday was any potential issues with his Bruins teammates should he become one of the highest paid players on the team. In fact, Brad Marchand said it was exactly the opposite despite the Bruins agitator going a different route and taking a hometown discount last fall with an eight-year deal that pays him $6.125 million per season.

“We all want to see each other be successful,” said Marchand at the Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament at the International on Monday. “[Pastrnak] had a great year last year so we’ll be very happy for him with whatever he ends up getting. The contract that he signs, Pasta’s going to make a lot of money, he’s a phenomenal player, he’s 21 years old, and he’s going to have a long career. We all like to see each other be successful and do well, and that’s the way the game goes.

“The league’s trending upwards and the contracts are getting higher and higher. You look around and some of the deals that were thrown out this summer for young guys, it wasn’t like that three or four years ago and that’s the way it is now. So again, we’re all very happy for one another, and whatever he gets is going to help other guys get more too. So that’s just the way it is.”

Perhaps the Bruins value their internal salary structure so much that they don’t make a restricted free agent one of the team’s highest paid players while coming off an entry level contract, and that means pushing him toward an AAV (Average Annual Value) below Marchand, Patrice Bergeron ($6.875 million) or David Krejci ($7.25 million) . But it’s clear by the words of both Marchand and Bergeron that they don’t begrudge the 21-year-old Pastrnak doing whatever he can to maximize his payday, but doing so while also making certain he’s signed, sealed and delivered back to Boston sooner rather than later. 

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Bruins put finishing touches on reeling Canadiens

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Bruins put finishing touches on reeling Canadiens

MONTREAL -- The Boston Bruins weren’t about to dance on any Montreal Canadiens’ graves after it was over and done with, but they effectively closed the door on any flickering playoff hopes for the Habs this week. It all ended with Saturday night’s 4-1 win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre that finished off the sweep of all three meetings between the two arch-rivals over an eight day span, and with the reeling Montreal a stunning 13 points out of a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

It was a close game nearly all the way through in Montreal until David Pastrnak and Riley Nash scored in the final few minutes of the third period, but the Bruins outscored the Habs by an 11-5 margin while clearly establishing they were the better team in all three contests. It all makes sense given the opposite directions that the two hockey clubs are headed at this point in the season, and because of that the Bruins were playing it pretty cool after burying the Habs.

“It was kind of a crazy week because we were playing them three times, so we obviously wanted to play good hockey,” said Tuukka Rask, who won all three games vs. the Habs while improving his lifetime record vs. the Habs to 10-15-3 in the process. “[We wanted to] get as many points as possible, and won all of those games along with the one on Long Island. So it was a great week for us.”

Certainly it seemed like there was more genuine emotion from the Bruins in Claude Julien’s return to Boston midweek, and perhaps a little more adrenaline in last weekend’s first game at the Bell Centre where rookies like Jake DeBrusk, Charlie McAvoy and Danton Heinen were dipping their toes into the storied rivalry for the first time.

But on this Saturday night it was more about a complete dismantling of the Bleu, Blanc and Rouge even as the Bruins initially fell down by a goal after a bad McAvoy turnover. Instead it was Boston’s Perfection Line that went to work with an efficient, dominant performance as David Pastrnak scored the game’s first goal and insurance third goal in the third period. They also accounted for the game-winner when Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak hemmed Montreal’s fourth line in the defensive zone, and Torey Krug eventually stepped up and rifled one short side on Carey Price.

Marchand, Bergeron and Pastrnak combined for two goals, six assists and a plus-8 in the resounding victory over the Habs, and had a dominant 12 of Boston’s 31 shots on net when the final horn had sounded. They simply overwhelmed Montreal with their depth, the high end quality of their lineup and the fact that Boston was rested while the Habs had to play in Washington DC on Friday night in a three games in four days stretch.

All of that allowed the Bruins to drive the final nail into Montreal’s coffin when the game was over, and it furthermore allowed Boston to keep worrying about the teams they’re trying to catch (ahem . . . Tampa Bay Lightning) rather than Eastern Conference bottom-feeders like the Canadiens.

“We talked about doing the job against them and finding a ways to push teams down while gaining ground on the teams above us,” said Patrice Bergeron. “I thought it was a great effort again. We knew that they would be ready for us, but we also knew that they had played last night. So maybe if we had a good start we could jump on them. I thought we had a good game.”

Clearly there have been ebbs and flows to the Bruins/Habs rivalry over their long history together, and both Boston and Montreal have been in the catbird seat at different times even in the recent editions of their history. But right now Boston is beating the Canadiens badly at their own skill and speed game and dominating thing with pure hockey rather than bullying, and that’s got to sting for a Habs group that simply couldn’t compete with the Bruins in three different chances to do so this week. 

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David Pastrnak dominates third straight win against Canadiens

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David Pastrnak dominates third straight win against Canadiens

GOLD STAR: David Pastrnak had been a little quiet offensively, but that all changed on Saturday night against Montreal. It was the 21-year-old that answered with a bad angle goal in the second period after Montreal had taken the first lead in the game, and it was Pastrnak again in the third period crashing the net and scoring his second goal to finally give Boston the breathing room that they needed. Pastrnak thoroughly dominated the game, scored two goals and three points along with a plus-3 rating, and led all players with a game-high eight shots on net while playing with energy and intensity in all three zones. It is nights like Saturday night in Montreal when you see just how good Pastrnak could still be a few years down the road.

BLACK EYE: Carey Price wasn’t terrible in the game, but he gave up the wrong goal at the wrong time to the Bruins in the second period. David Pastrnak surprised him with a bad angle shot by the goal line aimed at his skates, and Price couldn’t recover quickly enough to keep the puck from squirting into the net for the game-tying goal. Given how much better the Bruins are than the Canadiens this season, Price was going to be have to letter-perfect in order to beat the Black and Gold. Instead he gave up a bad goal just minutes after Montreal had finally scored, and completely sucked all of the momentum out of the Habs. A few minutes later Torey Krug beat Carey Price with a sniped shot for the go-ahead goal and that was it for the night. In all Price allowed three goals on 30 shots and had one of his weaker games against the Bruins in recent memory.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins appeared to score the insurance goal in the third period when Patrice Bergeron jumped on the rebound of a shot attempt where David Pastrnak’s stick had shattered on the initial shot. But a coach’s challenge ruled that the play was off-sides and the goal was overturned leaving it at a one-goal game in the third period. Montreal was given second life to scratch for one goal to at least push things in overtime, but instead that line was at it again and Pastrnak scored on a rebound in front directly from a Torey Krug point shot. That was the goal that officially broke Montreal’s spirit and allowed the Bruins to sweep all three games over the Habs in an eight day span.

HONORABLE MENTION: Torey Krug hasn’t exactly been a scoring machine lately, but he stepped up and had one of his best games against Montreal on Saturday. It was Krug that ended up with the game-winning goal on a sniper shot over Price’s shoulder in the second period when he jumped into the play with the Perfection Line dominating, and it was Krug that finished with a goal, three points and a plus-three rating in 17:24 of ice time. He finished with five shot attempts, a hit and a blocked shot as well, and was truly making things happen offensively as he did with a point shot in the third period that turned into a Pastrnak rebound goal for the insurance marker.

BY THE NUMBERS: 25 – the number of goals for the Perfection Line (Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak) over the 16-game point streak that the Bruins have been riding on for over a month.

QUOTE TO NOTE:  “I think at the end of the day if I knew that I would have to face them now, I probably would’ve kept them separate for all those years.” –A joking Claude Julien when asked postgame what it feels like to have Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand doing so much damage against his new team during the three games played in eight days. 

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