The Boston Bruins boast several veteran players who are getting paid nicely, but David Krejci leads the pack with a $7.25 million cap hit.
One could picture the Bruins’ brass asking Pastrnak: “How would Brad Marchand, Tuukka Rask, and Patrice Bergeron feel about making less than you?” After all, we’ve seen top players serve as useful “ceilings” for teammates’ paydays before; just think about how happy the Pittsburgh Penguins were to give Sidney Crosby a deal with an $8.7M cap hit.
(Yes, Evgeni Malkin makes a bit more per season, but you wonder if 87 kept 71 under the $10M threshold.)
Anyway, as persuasive as that hypothetical argument might be, Marchand told the Boston Herald’s Matt Kalman that he won’t begrudge Pastrnak if he garners a richer deal. There seems to be a “rising tides lift all boats” logic to the star-pest’s take.
“We all want to see each other be successful,” Marchand said. “He had a great year last year so we’ll be very happy for him with whatever he ends up getting. The contract that he signs, Pasta’s going to make a lot of money, he’s a phenomenal player, he’s 21 years old, he’s going to have a long career. We all like to see each other be successful and do well and that’s the way the game goes.”
Marchand, 29, probably isn’t sweating things too much right now.
While $6.125M is a bargain for a player who’s blossomed into an elite winger in the NHL, that contract runs through 2024-25, giving him long-term security. It was a nice boost from the $4.5M cap hit his previous deal carried, and it made sense for Marchand to sign at the time, particularly when you consider how dangerous his agitating style can be.
(One angry opponent could conceivably have had enough with his antics and that extension could have been in danger.)
Marchand spoke to the Boston Herald about timing with these deals, and it’s clear with Pastrnak and Draisaitl that they’re benefiting from their teams not doing the work to get their extensions done as early as possible.
In each case, those forwards took full advantage of “prove it” seasons, with some nice help from linemates such as Connor McDavid and Marchand.
Marchand might wish that his contract situation lined up a bit differently, but it would be silly of him to hold it against Pastrnak. Luckily, Marchand seems to take the same, sober stance.
Besides, if “Pasta” boils down under the pressure of a new deal, the Boston media will probably do the agitating for him.
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