Can the Boston Bruins sign David Pastrnak in time for this season?

But contract talks have hit a roadblock. Word was that Pastrnak’s team was waiting to see what the Edmonton Oilers offered Leon Draisaitl, a player who is “comparable in some ways” according to Mike Felger. Well, when Edmonton signed Draisaitl to an eight-year, $ 68 million contract, they put the Bruins in a very tough spot.

During his interview with Gary Tanguay of Arbella Early Edition, Felger said Pastrnak’s “pure worth at his ability and his place in his career [is] a little bit less than Brad Marchand… Six, six and a half [million], that should be the range for David Pastrnak.” The Bruins offered Pastrnak six years at $ 36 million, but that’s a $ 32 million decrease from Draisaitl. Felger says that Pastrnak’s agent is going to take that contract and lay it out on the table for everyone to see the numbers and say “statistically these players are pretty darn close so we’re gonna be a hell of a lot closer to 68 [million] than we are 36 [million].” Felger is of the opinion that Pastrnak, while a good player, is not worth the huge pay raise that would have him making more than any other Bruins player. Let’s take a look at how much the top guys for the Bruins make:

  1. David Krejci– $ 7.5 million
  2. Tuukka Rask– $ 7 million
  3. Patrice Bergeron– $ 6.9 million
  4. Brad Marchand- $ 6.1 million

With the price tag Pastrnak is placing on himself as similar in worth to Draisaitl, that would mean he wants to make $ 8.5 million per season. The Bruins do have the cap space, retaining just over $ 10 million after the Ryan Spooner contract, paying Pastrnak more than their top center or even their captain is not something the Bruins want to do.

With the way things are going, the Bruins have three options when it comes to Pastrnak: the first is what Felger calls a “bad contract” because “eight years is just ridiculous,” but it is unlikely Pastrnak will yield on what he wants in terms of pay. The second is a hold out which could mean Pastrnak missing camp and having a negative impact on the beginning of the season while also facing backlash from fans and management. Finally, although president Cam Neely and Sweeney have been adamant about not “sprinkling their talent around the rest of the league,” a trade is not out of the question. But, even if a trade did happen, the Bruins would be shelling out the money they don’t want to spend on Pastrnak for whoever they got in return because they’d want someone comparable.

The most plausible option and, at this point maybe the only option, is a bridge deal. Felger explained it as follows:

“Pastrnak needs one more year of service time to become unrestricted, so the Bruins do have some leverage. They can say we’re not signing you for that, just sit out. You don’t play, you don’t get to unrestricted free agency…. So you do two at 18 [million] or two at 16 [million]. Overpay for two years on a short term deal… and then you reset the thing and if he lives up to what we think he’s going to be and he’s an amazing player, then in two years you’re sorta back at the same spot and you have to overpay but, oh well. You get to push it two years down the road and see exactly what he is and you get him into camp and you get two years out of him.”

While Felger is a fan of the bridge idea, Haggerty votes the Bruins “step up and find some sort of middle ground on a long-term deal” because it’ll make sure Pastrnak is at camp, practicing alongside his teammates, and getting comfortable for the season, while also keeping him around for the long haul and continuing to be a key piece of the Bruins offense.

Pastrnak is exactly what the Bruins need these days because he has what makes a player successful in the NHL- he’s fast, skilled, and has a high hockey IQ. He’s everything that “the Bruins are emphasizing these days and that the B’s don’t have anything else in their organization that’s even close to his game-breaking, electric ability” according to Haggerty.

The bottom line is, while there are a few options, everyone wants Pastrnak to stay in Boston, including Pastrnak himself. Whether it’s a bridge deal or a long-term contract, the Bruins need to kick it into high gear to secure their future and get Pastrnak to camp on September 14. If they don’t, Haggerty puts it best that they risk “another futile repeat of the Original Six organization’s handling of Phil Kessel, Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton over the past 10 years.” Everyone saw how horribly those trades turned out for the Bruins and how much management regretted letting go of their young talent.

It’s time Sweeney and Pastrnak’s camp come to an agreement; everyone has been kept waiting long enough.

Yardbarker: NHL

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