Another day, another scoop regarding the David Pastrnak contract negotiations from the Boston Herald.
From the Herald:
We plan to discuss an eight-year maximum term to see if we can find more common ground.
Barry’s comments to Conroy mostly reiterated what we’ve long assumed: that the Bruins’ offers of six or seven years for $6 million per season simply aren’t good enough.
He’s right, and it’s his job to ensure his client is paid what he’s worth.
What Barry is probably trying to do here is get the Bruins to cough up more cash up front in return for a longer term. Something like “alright, give us $8 million per season — sure, it seems like a lot now, but it will be a steal in two years.”
A longer term might make a higher AAV easier for the Bruins to swallow in the meantime, as they know it will pay off as the salary cap and league-wide salaries continue to rise.
Look at Zdeno Chara’s contract: an AAV of around $6.5 million was pretty high back when he was signed, but as the contract ticked on, Chara’s deal seemed much more reasonable.
It appears that Pastrnak’s camp didn’t bother countering the Bruins’ initial offer, which led Cam Neely to say that the Bruins hadn’t tried again because they didn’t want to “negotiate against [themselves].”
One slight bit of concern from the Herald article: the Bruins seem to be trying to downplay the current market.
“If it looks like an abundance of players and the market has shifted, then you should look at it, but if it’s one player that you’re hanging your hat on then I don’t know if that’s a market shift. I don’t know if the market has really shifted as much as people think.”
Neely is referring to the deals signed by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in Edmonton.
This is troubling because it sounds like Neely is calling those deals overpayments, which means the Bruins still believe a deal like Filip Forsberg’s is more in line with the current market.
If this is their stance and the purse strings remain tightened accordingly, negotiations are probably going to continue to stall.
The Bruins, if they’re smart, should pony up the dough now for a long-term deal that will look like a steal down the line.
Pastrnak is essential to both the short-term and long-term success of this team; being shortsighted and cheap could be disastrous for the franchise.