BOSTON (CBS) — David Pastrnak may end up getting paid a lot more than the Bruins were expecting to pay him, and it could simply be a case of perfect timing.

That’s what CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty explained on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Friday, as he touched upon the most recent developments between the restricted free agent forward and the Bruins. In the wake of the Oilers’ Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl landing massive long-term deals as RFAs, Pastrnak may deserve the same from the Bruins – which would almost certainly make him the highest-paid player on the team. Haggerty believes the Bruins should just bite the bullet and pay him.

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“[The Bruins] have $10 million in salary cap space. I think you need to sign [Pastrnak] to the kind of contract that the market would bear – as of right now, eight years, seven years, at $7.5 million a year,” said Haggerty. “That’s going to pay him more than Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. But look, that’s what he deserves at this point. He hit the market at the exact right time.”

There have been a lot of big-money deals handed out to young, dynamic players on the restricted free agent market in recent years. In addition to McDavid (eight years, $100 million) and Draisaitl (eight years, $68 million), the Capitals’ Evgeny Kuznetsov signed for eight years and $62.4 million this offseason and the Blues’ Vladimir Tarasenko signed for eight years and $60 million in 2015. Haggerty sees Pastrnak as the latest young RFA player in line to get that kind of deal, possibly the same as Draisaitl.

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Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

“You’re seeing young, elite players getting these massive deals this summer, and that’s really set the market,” said Haggerty. “David Pastrnak and the Bruins were fairly well along on a six-year, $36 million deal months ago. But once Connor McDavid signed for $12 million a year and that elevated and raised the market for all those other young RFA players, that changed.

“I think Pastrnak’s agent recognized that, and he also recognized that David Pastrnak has almost identical stats to Leon Draisaitl. They’re extremely comparable players when you’re talking about salary negotiations.”

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