The Boston Bruins and Pavel Zacha avoided arbitration with a one-year contract worth $3.5 million.
It was a good deal for both sides. The Bruins didn't have to devote a massive amount of salary cap space to sign Zacha, whose average annual salary rose by $1.25 million compared to his previous contract with the New Jersey Devils.
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"I think we met where we wanted," Zacha told reporters on a Zoom call Tuesday morning. "I got exactly what I wanted for a contract there, with helping the team, and I think I can help them next season and trying to get as (good of a team) as possible. It's all about winning for us next season, so I think it was a good deal."
Even though the contract is just for one year, Zacha noted that if things go well, he'd want to remain with the Bruins long term.
"We talked about with my agent and Boston, we made a decision just focusing on this one year," Zacha said. "Bringing guys like (Patrice) Bergeron and (David) Krejci, having a big chance of having a good year as a team. I think that was the biggest thing from both sides, just focusing on one year. And if everything goes well, they know I want to stay in Boston for a long time. I think that was more the focus on just staying here for one year and focusing on this season."
A one-year deal gives Zacha a tremendous opportunity to improve his offensive stats, compete in the playoffs for the first time in his career, and then use those factors to earn a more lucrative contract next summer. Zacha will be able to test unrestricted free agency for the first time when his one-year deal expires.
That's also a good scenario for the Bruins because they should get a very motivated Zacha next season.