This isn’t the story I wanted to lead with today. Orginally, I wanted to talk about this because it’s funny and the thread involves a humourless Pens fan:
Now that our jersey numbers are in, our updated No. 87 power rankings:
3. Can’t think of any others
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) August 30, 2017
However, Bruins team president, Cam Neely, had to say something dumb.
I shouldn’t devote any time to this but I will because I am dedicated to…something. I have taken all of Neely’s quoted remarks out of the article for ease of reading.
In fact, speaking at the Bruins’ Fanfest in Providence on Thursday, Neely said that there hasn’t been much of anything when it’s come to recent discussions with the star sniper.
“There hasn’t been any dialogue,” Neely told the Boston Herald. “Early on there was and then an offer was put out there and there hasn’t really been much back and forth for us to say where we’re going to head and what direction we’re going in. Until we really see what they’re thinking and what they’re looking for, then we can start the dialogue.
“To be honest with you, we haven’t really gotten a response on what they’re looking for,” Neely said of the talks with Pastrnak’s agent, J.P. Barry. “I know when they talked early on, they had some parameters to work around, some comps that I think both sides felt were fair at that particular time, so an offer was made but there really wasn’t much dialogue after that. So I think it’s kind of pointless for us to negotiate against ourselves.”
Curiously, Pasta’s agent, J.P. Barry, had a slightly different take on the negotiations when Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald contacted him.
When told of Neely’s comment about a lack of counter-offer, Barry responded in an email, “(The Bruins) are aware that the offers to date aren’t where we feel David fits in this marketplace. We plan to discuss an eight-year maximum term to see if we can find more common ground.”
Conroy also has more on what Neely has to say about the contract, especially whether or not it’s an internal cap or not that’s preventing the deal from being completed.
“It’s not so much internal as it is what are some of the list of the recent ’16-17 signings of players under 25,” he said. “We’re looking at those comps, not so much our own team. What did those players do prior to getting contracts and how does it stack up against David? I know everyone’s talking about the Draisaitl contract, and rightfully so they were waiting to see what was going to happen there. But that’s one player.”
“I know everyone’s talking about the Draisaitl contract, and rightfully so they were waiting to see what was going to happen there, but that’s one player,” Neely said. “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. I don’t know if the market has really shifted as much as people think.”
It may be what they think the market should be but I can’t help but think there is an internal cap especially since we’re talking about a Jeremy Jacobs owned team.
“I feel confident we can get something done,” said Neely. “I think David has expressed that he loves it here and wants to play here. We want him here for as long as it makes sense for us.”
It’s that last couple of lines that get me. First, it seems like like they want him to take a team-friendly deal as “he loves it and wants to play here” is code for “we will exploit his love of the city to make him take less money”. And it’s obvious that Neely doesn’t want any deal that is going to make that Draisaitl deal the new market price. Is tacking on an additional million per year going to do that? No. So, stop being cheap and pay him.
The last line is the one with which I have the biggest problem, especially the part that goes “…for as long as it makes sense for us.” Call me paranoid, but that sounds like the kind of thing you say when you expect a bad outcome, say signing a bridge deal or cutting ties. It’s a ridiculous thought and it isn’t justified in the Sweeney era. But the team has rid themselves of other players for questionable or poor returns. I guess I’m a little gunshy.
For the record, Neely denies discussion of a bridge deal:
Neely said that, at least so far, a bridge deal — a compromise that would be for less money and fewer years and would get Pastrnak to arbitration quicker — has not been discussed.
Let’s hope that there continues to be no talk of bridge deals when the two sides start talking about a long-term deal today.