Extension talks begin between Bruins, Eriksson (who may be pricey)

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The good news is that Loui Eriksson has finally been the quality forward the Boston Bruins were hoping for when they traded for him in that Tyler Seguin deal.

The bad news for the Bruins is that Eriksson’s pulling off this strong work in the final year of his current contract.

Eriksson and the Bruins have begun early contract extension negotiations, according to reporters including ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun and TSN’s Darren Dreger.

If Dreger’s sources are correct, Eriksson’s initial asking price is pretty steep: a five or six-year contract in the neighborhood of $6 million per season (so $30 million or $36 million overall).

Eriksson turns 31 in July, so that term could be risky, and that cap price could make it awfully tough to re-sign Torey Krug (contract expires after this season) and the likes of Brad Marchand (his expires following the 2016-17 campaign).

Granted, opening contract requests are designed to be at the extremes for both sides, so this wouldn’t be the absolute asking price … although Eriksson could likely command a pretty penny in unrestricted free agency.

Actually, that’s another concern for Boston. They may need to figure out if they can re-sign him; if not, they may opt to move him during the trade deadline to avoid losing Eriksson for nothing.

LeBrun discussed as much:

Very preliminary contract discussions have begun between the Bruins and pending unrestricted free agent winger Loui Eriksson. The 30-year-old is enjoying a fine season and is second on the Boston Bruins in scoring. But whether or not the Bruins and his agent J.P. Barry find common ground on an extension before the Feb. 29 trade deadline remains to be seen.

Long story short, the Bruins have some big choices to make when it comes to Eriksson.