Morning Free Association: JUST SIGN ALREADY

This morning we have dueling articles from Boston radio stations: Matt Kalman of 98.5 The SportsHub/CBS Local and Ty Anderson of WEEI. Both posts basically hit upon the same theme, one that we’ve become accustomed to here: the signing of David Pastrnak.


In his column, Ty Anderson starts by talking about Don Sweeney and his maturity as a GM, leading into how this will benefit him in making a deal with Pastrnak. In the past two offseasons, Sweeney bit too soon on trades (Hamilton, Rinaldo) and signed a longer deal than warranted (McQuaid). Sweeney though seems to learned from these instances becoming more calculated in the last season. This is important when negotiating with Pasta. Kalman doesn’t get involved with Sweeney, preferring to jump right in to the talk of the deal.

Both talk about how an ideal contract would be identical to that of Filip Forsberg- 6 years at $6 million. Both also talk about the hesitancy to sign the 21 year-old Pastrnak to a deal with greater AAV than that of Patrice Bergeron or even David Krejci.

From Anderson:

At the same time, however, the Bruins likely have a ceiling in terms as to where they’d like to go when it comes to re-signing Pastrnak to a long-term deal. It has not been said by anybody within the B’s organization, so this is strictly speculation on my behalf, but you wonder if there’s an internal cap in the sense that Sweeney doesn’t want to pay anybody more than the $6.875 million they’re paying Patrice Bergeron per season until 2022. Granted, they’re already doing that with David Krejci’s $7.25 million cap hit, but that was a Chiarelli extension, and since then Bergeron has really emerged as the undeniable face of this franchise and the heir apparent to Zdeno Chara’s captaincy.

And no player has come in even close to matching or exceeding that under Sweeney.

A win for the Bruins would be convincing Pastrnak to sign the same long-term deal that Brad Marchand inked before the start of last season (an eight-year, $49 million deal with a $6.125 million cap hit). But Pastrnak is 21 and Marchand was 28 when he signed that deal, meaning that Pastrnak’s next deal would come when he’s approaching 30, which may not be in his best interest given the developmental ascension he displayed last season (read as: robbing himself of a potential bigger payday, with contracts for far worse players surely bound to increase as the cap does in due time of his true prime).

From Kalman:

And that brings me to another point some have raised about the Bruins having their own internal salary cap based on David Krejci ($7.25 million cap charge), Patrice Bergeron ($6.875 million), Brad Marchand ($6.125 million) and David Backes ($6 million). This seems fair until you consider that except for Marchand the other three players are aged 31, 31, and 33. It shouldn’t be Pastrnak’s fault that the Bruins have opted — like most teams in the NHL — to pay players past 30 years old for what they accomplished in the past more than what they’re going to provide in the future. Bergeron might be an exception because of his gifts in the skills and athleticism department, but does anyone expect Backes are Krejci to ever match their best years? And don’t forget Bergeron dropped from 68 to 53 points — could be an anomaly or a sign of slowing down.

That’s why Pastrnak is so important to the Bruins. He’s not even in his prime and is one of the league’s most lethal goal scorers. He has a speed dynamic the Bruins might not get from another forward for a couple years while some of the prospects are maturing.

Pastrnak has every right to ask to be paid as the Bruins’ best forward because he’s the one whose best years are ahead of him. If the Bruins are holding up the works with Pastrnak because they don’t want to offend Bergeron or Marchand, they’re batty. It’s important to keep Pastrnak happy, especially because even if he signs a Tarasenko-level deal, he’ll probably be a bargain in a year or two as goal-scorer salaries continue to increase.

Just like employees in other fields, athletes want to paid commensurate with their merits and experience level not just on future performance.

Later on, Kalman argues for a “lockout-proof” deal for Pastrnak:

But if the Bruins are fully committed to challenging for their second Stanley Cup title in 42-plus years of Jacobs ownership, they have to please their best players, especially the ones with youth, speed and the ability to become one of the most dominant players in the NHL and in this city.


Anderson goes on to say how the Bruins GM can lose and probably bring down the whole organization:

The one way for Sweeney to lose this negotiation? A one or two-year bridge deal.

Rarely if ever has a bridge deal worked out with a player of this caliber. It’s how the Canadiens ending up making P.K. Subban a $9 million a year player (Subban agreed to a two-year, $5.75 million contract when he and the Canadiens first struggled to find footing on a long-term deal) after a two-year run that only validated his status as one of the league’s best at his position. And it’s surely what would happen with Pastrnak and the B’s, too, and a two-year deal would set up him to need a new contract at the same time that Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy need new deals. If those players grow into the roles most expect them to, that would be a beyond tricky situation for Sweeney to work his way out of, and require some Lightning-esque salary cap maneuvering.

It’s also worth mentioning that Sweeney has yet to lose a negotiation.

Yep, it sounds like a whole lot of maneuvering needs to happen here to nail down a contract.

the german hammer

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And don’t forget Bergeron dropped from 68 to 53 points — could be an anomaly or a sign of slowing down.

Or it could just be that he had 2 wingers who were both having incredible years, so he didn’t have to produce as much. Finally not having dead weight on the right wing helped spread things out a bit, too. The ’16-’17 Marchy/Bergy/Pasta line put up point totals of 94/114/208, while the ’15-’16 Marchy/Bergy/Connolly line only managed 78/76/154.


Or maybe it’s because Bergy played most of the season with a hernia.


Iron Maiden was really fun last night, as was the tailgating. Satan81’s Sister’s Brother and his friend brought a full gas grill and lots of grillin’ meats.



Is 7mil/yr for Pasta unreasonable?


The one thing both Journalists failed to really pin onto is “David has had one 34 G, 70 P season. yet to prove he can do so year after year.” Yes he is young and an obvious scoring threat the bruins need, but if you are going to blame the bruins to signing Players like Bergy, Marchand and Backes for past performance how about curbing your expectations for dishing out 7mil for a player on his third season that has only played most of 76 games a season. If he wants 7mil he can have it after his first 5 yr contract is up at 26 years old. 5.5 x 5 is reasonable. If you want to sign him for longer then thats in the negotiation. But this shit just needs to be figured out.

For a player that says he just wants to constantly get better and play hockey because he loves the sport, it shouldn’t take you this long to come to an agreement. I wouldnt expect you to use Money as a basis for your self worth. I’m not saying screw yourself over by taking something you dont deserve, but dont let a greedy agent screw you over either by putting yourself in bad stances with the org and what the GM is trying to do to help your team be better.

Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Sign Pasta.


This will be my new greeting phrase from now on.

Satan 81's Sister

Maybe I’ll put it in my email signature and see if anyone notices.
Maybe between the phone number and fax number.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Hey Pals!
I’m glad I don’t have to negotiate these deals. It would go something like ” Here David, take all the money, score lots of goals. I think we’re done here.”
A day in paradise yesterday – working my ass off! Removed an old header and replaced it with a hemlock beam from the sawmill up the road. It will stay exposed along with another one we put up last week. Still a lot to do, but progress is happening.
Now, I have two days work to do today. We leave for Miami in the morning.
Coffee!!!!!! A and lots of it!!!

Satan 81's Sister

Safe travels!