I am by no means a genius. But I have the mental capacity to understand that when you have an ultra talented 20 year old player in need of a serious bump in pay it isn’t wise to repeatedly low ball them. However, that’s exactly what Don Sweeney/Cam Neely are doing to David Pastrnak. Yesterday it was reported by Joe McDonald via Twitter that there is no “real dialogue” between the Bruins and Pastrnak at the moment. Disconcerting news at the very least.
Boston got caught with their pants around their ankles August 16th when Edmonton signed Leon Draisaitl to a colossal, 8 year 68 million dollar deal. Obviously Boston would have loved to get Pastrnak whom is comparable statically to Draisaitl in almost every way possible to a deal similar to Brad Marchand’s. Which costs Boston on average just above 6 million yearly.
However, multiple attempts to sign him to a 6-7 year 6 million dollar offer have failed. In fact its been rumored that the Bruins and the Pastrnak’s camp aren’t even close to agreeing on a dollar amount per season.
Fact of the matter is pure and simple. Boston fell flat on its face in attempting to control this contract situation which in it of itself is beyond embarrassing. They had plenty of time to sit down with Pastrnak to discuss a number fitting for both sides. Instead they allowed Peter Chiarelli inadvertent control of the discussion following the signing of Draisaitl. Realizing they had a mountain to climb they allowed Pastrnak to chose the length of his deal, 6 or 7 years. But didn’t budge at the term (6 million dollars). Which seems counter productive.
I understand Don and Cam are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They want to set the precedent now on how youngsters coming off rookie deals will be paid. Bare in mind McAvoy will be up for a raise in two seasons and there is no reason to believe he won’t be in a position to request top dollar.
On the other side it would be strange to see a young player like Pastrnak getting paid more than long time veterans such as Brad Marchand and David Krejci. Whom after all were instrumental in winning Boston a Stanley Cup. But not many players if any at all can give you the type of production Pasta can.
Losing him via trade/waivers also serves as a blatant contradiction to Don Sweeney’s plan for the future. Which is simply developing the young players he’s acquired since being promoted to GM. With that in mind please acknowledge that the landscape of the league is constantly changing. Paying younger players with a projected higher ceiling is now common practice.
The Bruins are going for the home run hit. That being Pastrnak under a “team friendly” contract, a great example of that is Jonathan Huberdeau’s “prove your worth to me” deal in Florida. That would allow them to keep their core players around long term, while also giving them leverage in the negotiation room when other high valued young players come knocking in the future.
Unfortunately for the Bruins I see them losing this awkward game of chicken and paying Pastrnak the going rate. Something in between Vladimir Tarasenko’s 7.5 per year and Draisaitl’s 8.5. Cringe worthy to some, but it would be a crying shame to see another young gun lost at the Bruins expense. Fans after all deserve more than that.
Don, its time to get serious.