The deal is done.
Finally, after a whole summer fraught with negotiation, panic, threats of movement to the KHL and probably the odd sacrifice to the hockey gods in Boston, David Pastrnak is once again a Boston Bruin, and will be for the next six years.
More to the point, the deal, in the context of this summer’s negotiations and other RFA contracts, is a vindication of Don Sweeney’s willingness to wait out the other side and refuse to panic, despite pressure from all sides in the Bruins media and blogosphere to get a deal done (including from these parts).
At six years and 6.6 million a year, the Bruins have locked up the best Czech player since Jaromir Jagr and one of the elite young talents in the NHL through most of his twenties, while leaving room to increase his contract as he hits the prime of his career. More to the point, when looking at the NHL market the money for Pasta is ridiculously cheap.
Consider the fact that the closest comparable this off season, with exactly the same PPG average, a similar age and number of games played is Leon Draisatl. Also consider that his contract is nearly 2.5 million a year more, for two more seasons-and that Bryan Little (BRYAN LITTLE) is considered worth 4.7 million a year for the same term despite being 36 at the end of his contract, and that gives you an idea of just how cheap Pasta is.
Granted, this is not a perfect contract - if Pasta produces even close to the consistency he has been so far than there is a good chance the B’s are once again going to find it an interesting time trying to pay him megabucks in 6 years time, especially if the B’s prospect pool keeps developing as one hopes and wages in the NHL keep rising.
However, what they have bought themselves with this contract, is six years of an elite player for a price that’s nearly a quarter less than comparable players of the same age in the market this offseason - something that goes some way to making up for the atrocious contracts handed out to players like Matt Beleskey and David Backes recently.
Viewed in isolation, that means that Don Sweeney, this time, is vindicated in his decision to wait, and may slowly be beginning to find his stride as a GM and contract negotiator after some horrible early missteps.
Most importantly, though, one of the B’s franchise stars is back in Boston and can go into the season with certainty, and the team has bought itself time to bring the rest of the young talent through around him for a (relatively) low outlay.
Now, they just have to take advantage of their tremendous fortune and hope that Sweeney’s gamble and brinkmanship has paid off.