Tyler Bertuzzi was just the appetizer. The Boston Bruins have provided their fans with quite the morning, following the trade by announcing an eight-year extension for David Pastrnak that will keep him under contract through the 2030-31 season. The deal will carry an average annual value of $11.25MM, making him one of the league’s highest-paid players.
Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the deal has a full no-move clause for the first five years, then a modified no-trade clause for the final three. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic has the year-by-year breakdown:
- 2023-24: $8.5MM salary + $4.5MM signing bonus
- 2024-25: $8.5MM salary + $4.5MM signing bonus
- 2025-26: $8.5MM salary + $4.0MM signing bonus
- 2026-27: $8.25MM salary + $3.0MM signing bonus
- 2027-28: $8.25MM salary + $3.0MM signing bonus
- 2028-29: $7.5MM salary + $3.0MM signing bonus
- 2029-30: $7.0MM salary + $2.5MM signing bonus
- 2030-31: $7.0MM salary + $2.0MM signing bonus
The $90MM contract is the sixth-largest in NHL history, in terms of total money, and Pastrnak goes into next season with the sixth-highest cap hit in the league, right behind Erik Karlsson’s $11.5MM.
If there was ever a player that was going to break the bank in Boston, it was Pastrnak, who has been an incredible bargain for them the last six years. Since he started his six-year, $40MM contract in 2017, which carries a $6.67MM cap hit, Pastrnak ranks fifth in goals (223), ninth in points (461), and tenth in points-per-game (1.16).
With the salary cap set to increase in the coming years, this still—unbelievably—is probably a discount for the Bruins’ sniper. While many believed he would become the highest-paid winger in the NHL, that title will continue to belong to Artemi Panarin, whose seven-year, $81.5MM deal carries an average annual value of $11.64MM.
Not only are the Bruins likely paying less than he would have gotten on the open market, the structure of the deal is also in their favor, allowing them to get out of it should Pastrnak’s game decline considerably in the future.
Given his relative youth, though, that seems unlikely. The contract will expire when he is 35, a perfectly reasonable extension to hand out at this point to a franchise icon who is one of the best offensive weapons in the league. Even if his overall game takes a step backward down the line, Pastrnak’s innate goal-scoring ability seems likely to continue through most of his career.
Committing nearly $100MM to one player is a huge risk, but there are few players in the game more deserving than Pastrnak. With him now locked up long-term, the Bruins front office knows exactly where they stand in other negotiations and how much they can spend on his supporting cast.
It’s been quite a year for Boston, who head into the playoffs as the odds-on favorite for the Stanley Cup, and have now secured their franchise player for the majority of his NHL career.
Everything’s rainbows and sunshine in Boston this year
It’s about f***ing time
Wow, the expectation is set. Playoffs will not disappoint.
And you wonder why these brain dead GMs get themselves into a financial pickle at every turn. Eleven per year for 5 seasons is a smarter move.
Pedro Martinez’s Mango Tree
And one that’s rejected every time. He’s 26, he’s got plenty of high-level hockey left in him
To paraphrase Aragorn’s LOTR speech “The day will come when the Bruins will regret this contract, but today is not that day!”. :)
Now this contract is VALUE compared to Larkin’s.
Great deal well deserved but don’t count the chickens before they hatch…
Honestly, if any player in the NHL was going to get the bag, it was Pasta. Who else (outside of McDavid) would you give this amount of cash to? Boston was smart to pay it, and should do so happily.
There are a few guys, but I agree with your general sentiment.
Wow how often does any Boston team hand out a long term contract to star player?
Normally, they don’t, going back to Ray Bourque taking below-market rates for over a decade.
On the one hand, Pasta is one of the safer bets for max money and max term. On the other, eeep. Boston’s projected to have only $10 MM cap space available for next season and around nine guys to fit into that, including guys like Swayman and Frederic who are due solid raises … unless they sign them both to qualifying offers to kick the can a year down the road. This makes it a done deal that Hathaway, Orlov and Bertuzzi are pure rentals, that they’re likely to unload a Grzelcyk (say) for cheaper options, and that they don’t expect to see Bergeron or Krejci to return.
Pedro Martinez’s Mango Tree
Rafael Devers? Calm down.
Yup! Didn’t they take Raymond to arbitration one year?!!
I wonder if there will be any resentment from teammates as they’ve been a roster that has usually taken below FMV to keep the team together.
His previous contract ended up being a major discount for the team. You can’t fault a guy for wanting to get paid.