The Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy caught up with Bruins exec Cam Neely and David Pastrnak‘s agent J.P. Barry, and there are some awfully interesting updates regarding the rising forward’s negotiations.
Most pressingly, Barry told Conroy that the two sides are set to speak again on Friday, and there will be an argument made from Pastrnak’s side for an eight-year deal.
Barry backed up reports that a six-year, $36 million contract (which included a $6M cap hit) wouldn’t be enough.
Somewhat refreshingly, Neely addressed one of the burning questions head on: how would Leon Draisaitl‘s eight-year deal with an $8.5M cap hit figure in?
“If it looks like an abundance of players and the market has shifted, then you should look at it, but if it’s one player that you’re hanging your hat on then I don’t know if that’s a market shift,” Neely said. “I don’t know if the market has really shifted as much as people think.”
Interestingly, Neely also noted that while there was some early talk about a shorter “bridge” contract for Pastrnak, there hasn’t been much dialog in that regard recently.
All things considered, it might not be easy to talk Pastrnak’s price down that far from the Draisaitl price point. The two players generated similar numbers in 2016-17, although perhaps there could be some argument that a center might be worth more than a winger.
Neely mentioned that the Bruins’ own spending wouldn’t factor in much, yet that could conceivably be a useful talking point.
After all, Draisaitl could point to Connor McDavid‘s $12.5M and say, “I might not be worth that, but I’m worth about two-thirds, right?”
The Bruins’ highest cap hit is David Krejci at $7.25M, with Tuukka Rask at $7M. Theoretically, Neely and/or GM Don Sweeney could ask Pastrnak how much more he’s really worth than, say, Patrice Bergeron or Brad Marchand.
The fact that Pastrnak is an RFA (with quite a few RFA years to burn) also gives the Bruins leverage, whether the Oilers took advantage of their own leverage with Draisaitl well enough or not.
At least Bergeron provides some optimism, as CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty notes.
It’s all pretty fascinating stuff, although one can understand Bruins fans getting a little uneasy as this all drags out.