A Boston Bruin? Getting paid his actual market value? In this economy?
No, literally: in this economy?
The salary-cap era Bruins have been incredibly, consistently successful largely because their star players have bought into the idea of taking less money than they’re worth to win. Zdeno Chara did it. Patrice Bergeron did it. Brad Marchand did it. David Pastrnak also did it on his previous contract, which, at a $6.67 million AAV, rapidly became known as one of the NHL’s biggest steals. Pastrnak is the NHL’s 90th-richest player based on his current cap hit. Not bad for a guy sitting fifth in the league in goals over the past five seasons, trailing only Leon Draisaitl, Auston Matthews, Alex Ovechkin and Connor McDavid.
Well, Pastrnak is Mr. Discount no more. On Thursday, minutes after completing a trade for Tyler Bertuzzi, the Bruins announced an eight-year extension for Pastrnak, who was set to become a UFA this summer. The pact carries an $11.25 million AAV. The $90 million in total money makes it the 10th-richest contract in NHL history.
When defenseman Charlie McAvoy signed an eight-year extension last season, carrying a $9.5 million AAV, it marked the first time in a long time we said, “Sounds about right” on a contract for a Bruins star. Now, we’re saying the same for Pastrnak, 26.
Next season, he, will be the league’s sixth-richest player. That sounds much more accurate. He might be a two-time first-team all-star by the end of this season. He has spent much of his career as one third of the greatest play driving line in hockey alongside Marchand and Bergeron and, this season, Pastrnak has proven he can carry his own trio, spending the majority of his 5-on-5 minutes on the Czech Line with Pavel Zacha and David Krejci. Pastrnak sits sixth in goals per 60, third in shots per 60, third in shot attempts per 60 and ninth in scoring chances per 60 in the NHL at 5-on-5. On the power play, no player in the league gets more shots on goal than Pastrnak on a per-60 basis this season. He’s one of the best pure scoring threats of his generation.