BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins most recently offered David Pastrnak an extension for up to seven years. But the restricted free agent forward and his agent may be thinking even longer.
According to the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy, Pastrnak’s agent J.P. Barry intends to negotiate for a deal up to eight years in length with the Bruins. Barry feels the Bruins haven’t offered Pastrnak an extension that is commensurate with other RFA forwards around the league.
“[The Bruins] are aware that the offers to date aren’t where we feel David fits in this marketplace. We plan to discuss an eight-year maximum term to see if we can find more common ground,” Barry told the Herald in an email. Conroy asked Barry about the situation between his client and the Bruins in response to comments by Cam Neely about the discussions (or lack thereof) going on between the two sides.
“To be honest with you, we haven’t really gotten a response on what they’re looking for,” Neely told reporters at the Bruins Fan Fest in Providence. “I know when they talked early on, they had some parameters to work around, some comps that I think both sides felt were fair at that particular time, so an offer was made but there really wasn’t much dialogue after that. So I think it’s kind of pointless for us to negotiate against ourselves.”
The player who has drawn the most comparisons to Pastrnak is Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who recently got an eight-year, $68 million extension ($8.5 million AAV) with Edmonton. But despite his similar stats, Draisaitl is not a perfect comparison; he’s bigger (6-foot-1, 216 pounds), plays center as opposed to wing, and may possess a higher ceiling as a two-way player.
A closer comparison for Pastrnak may be Blues right winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who got an eight-year, $60 million deal ($7.5 million annual cap hit) with St. Louis in 2015 as a 23-year-old. He was coming off a 37-goal, 73-point season at the time.
Either way, it appears that Pastrnkak’s timing could not have been better in hitting the free-agent market.
Considering the extensions that other top RFA forwards have gotten in recent years, it’s likely that the Bruins will ultimately need to pay more than the reported $6 million AAV they have already offered. An average salary more than $7.25 million for Pastrnak would top David Krejci as the highest-paid player on the team.
The Bruins and GM Don Sweeney have remained committed to holding on to their young talent, while Pastrnak has expressed a desire to stay in Boston long-term. Neither side has suggested otherwise.