Morning Free Association: Sign Him

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When we left things before the long weekend, David Pastrnak’s agent J.P. Barry was going to start negotiating his client’s new deal with the Boston Bruins. Much has been written about what the offers have been ($6 million for either 6 or 7 years) and Barry finally said that he is looking for max term for Pastrnak, which should be good news for everyone. In wanting max term, they’re not looking for a bridge deal, which would be the worst possible outcome for the Bruins. This should be really good news but it’s going to take more than $6 million per to do it.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy blog sums up what the problem is and why this is bad for the Bruins if they dig their claws in. Using terms from an HGTV show (and probably gambling, for that matter (side note: I don’t gamble)) Wysh states the issue:

Boston Bruins president Cam Neely figured he had “the comp.”

Now, as anyone who watches HGTV can tell you, the comp is essential. You buy the house, you invest in the house, but you really can’t set the price on selling the house unless someone else in the neighborhood sold their abode within the range of what you’re looking to ask — the “comp’ if you will. Once you secure the comp, you know what your property is worth within the framework of the marketplace – above and beyond what that value is to you.

With it came to winger David Pastrnak, a restricted free agent, Neely’s comp was Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg, who signed a six-year deal with $36 million last summer. That was after two outstanding seasons in which he scored 26 and 33 goals, and 63 and 64 points in 82 games. Pastrnak, after all, had one outstanding season: 34 goals and 36 assists in 75 games as a 20 year old last year. (Forsberg was 21 when he signed his deal.)

As has been widely reported, the Bruins had had a deal on the table for Pastrnak for some time. It can be six years or it can be seven years. The cap hit is about $6 million. That’s Forsberg money.

But Forsberg money was last year’s comp.

The new comp is Leon Draisaitl. And that’s a problem for the Bruins.

Well, yeah, we knew this, in some way. We knew that when Draisaitl was presented with the right deal by DogGM™, Peter Chiarelli, that he would sign for an inflated amount based upon generational talent Connor McDavid’s deal. The German forward has benefited directly from being on his wing. Of course, Pastrnak has not had that benefit, having been shifted between lines, playing with no set line. Even though Pastrnak and Draisaitl have had different circumstances, the two players have one significant similarity. David Pastrnak has 123 points in 172 games and Leon Draisaitl has 137 in 191 games; both players share a 0.72 points per game average.

For the record, Filip Forsberg (191/264) is also a 0.72 points per game player. But he was last year’s deal, which may have been highway robbery.

The truth is, Pastrnak, a right wing, is worth less than Draisaitl, a “center”, by the perceived playing difficulty of the position. While he might not be worth last year’s comp by virtue of it being an old deal, he’s more likely in line with Tarasenko’s max-term deal that starts this season. By the way, Tarasenko scores at a rate of 0.83 points per game.

This negotiation will not be fun. Just pay him already, Donny.

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Captain of Bearly on Topic.

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