David Pastrnak remains one of the top unsigned restricted free agents in the league, and looks like he’s due for a huge raise from the Boston Bruins when a contract is finally hammered out. That doesn’t seem any closer today than it has been, as GM Don Sweeney told Ty Anderson of WEEI the negotiations are in a “holding pattern” but that there is plenty of time to get something done. Pastrnak scored 34 goals and 70 points last season, and though he’s still ineligible for arbitration is set to command quite the price on a long-term deal.
Despite only turning 21 a few months ago, Pastrnak has already completed three seasons in the NHL and is on track to become an unrestricted free agent at the age of 25. That means any deal longer than four seasons will be buying out UFA years at a premium, pushing any cap hit up and up as the length increases. Obviously, the Bruins would like to keep him around as long as possible but they’ll have to make a decision on whether to lock him into a seven or eight year deal right away, or offer him a bridge contract and revisit the negotiations in a few years. With just over $10.1MM in cap space, the team could go either route to keep their star winger in town.
- According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, Jack Walker has signed an AHL deal with the Minnesota Wild organization after impressing in development camp. Walker was actually a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs as recently as 2016, but was not extended a “Bona Fide Offer” by the team and became an unrestricted free agent. That likely had to do with the combination of Walker being too old to return to junior and the Maple Leafs not having enough contract slots left—the team is currently at 49/50 with Connor Brown still to sign. Walker was a solid scoring threat in the WHL, and will try to improve his all-around game in the minor leagues.
- The Arizona Coyotes have announced a one-year affiliation with the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL, replacing the Rapid City Rush who have moved on to partner with the Wild. The Komets operated independently last season after ending a partnership with the Colorado Avalanche a year early, but will now house the lower Arizona prospects. Even without a parent organization the Komets reached the postseason for the fourth straight year, and will try to get back there this season. Interestingly, Brett Perlini, the older brother of Coyotes’ forward Brendan Perlini was traded to the Komets mid-season last year, where he scored 26 points in 33 games.