Boston Bruins

Report: David Pastrnak has multiple offers from the KHL

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Report: David Pastrnak has multiple offers from the KHL

BOLTON, Mass – With the start of NHL training camp just a couple of days away and 21-year-old David Pastrnak still unsigned, both sides continue to brace for leverage and the upper hand in negotiations. The latest unconfirmed development is a report from a KHL Hockeybuzz reporter, Aivis Kalnins, that Pastrnak has “multiple offers” on the table from the KHL if he and the Bruins can’t come to a suitable agreement for the restricted free agent.

As of Monday evening, there was no confirmation or denial to CSN New England from Pastrnak’s agent, JP Barry, in an email seeking clarification on the report.

MORE - Hagg Bag: Emptying out the questions before training camp

The Bruins have a couple of confirmed offers of six and seven years at $6 million per season that are months old at this point. Pastrnak’s camp made a counter-offer over the last few weeks for a maximum eight years that’s believed to be in the neighborhood of $8 million per season. That leaves a wide gap between the organization and the player’s camp on the 21-year-old that broke out for 34 goals and 70 points last season.

It would certainly appear there’s a middle ground there with Pastrnak eventually getting something in the $7-7.5 million per season range that Vladimir Tarasenko earned a couple of years ago in a comparable situation to the B’s right winger. But there’s been little budging from either side and that leaves tactics out of the negotiating playbook, including threats to have the Czech-born Pastrnak skip the NHL season and play in Russia instead.

It’s the same threat restricted free agent Andreas Athanasiou has attempted to use to pry a bigger contract out of the Detroit Red Wings this summer, and the same tactic Torey Krug’s camp used when he eventually held out in training camp a couple of seasons ago. It certainly feels like a ploy to get the Bruins to finally pony up the money that Pastrnak is rightfully asking for. 

The difference in Pastrnak's case being the massive void on the right wing that would be there for the Bruins if the game-breaking forward took his talents to Russia for the season. Boston has botched things with other elite young talents like Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin and Phil Kessel, and doing so once again with an elite young player would only cement that reputation. 

One potential sticking point to a massive contract for Pastrnak that was debunked on Monday was any potential issues with his Bruins teammates should he become one of the highest paid players on the team. In fact, Brad Marchand said it was exactly the opposite despite the Bruins agitator going a different route and taking a hometown discount last fall with an eight-year deal that pays him $6.125 million per season.

“We all want to see each other be successful,” said Marchand at the Bruins Foundation Golf Tournament at the International on Monday. “[Pastrnak] 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, and 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.

“The league’s trending upwards and the contracts are getting higher and higher. You look around and some of the deals that were thrown out this summer for young guys, it wasn’t like that three or four years ago and that’s the way it is now. So again, we’re all very happy for one another, and whatever he gets is going to help other guys get more too. So that’s just the way it is.”

Perhaps the Bruins value their internal salary structure so much that they don’t make a restricted free agent one of the team’s highest paid players while coming off an entry level contract, and that means pushing him toward an AAV (Average Annual Value) below Marchand, Patrice Bergeron ($6.875 million) or David Krejci ($7.25 million) . But it’s clear by the words of both Marchand and Bergeron that they don’t begrudge the 21-year-old Pastrnak doing whatever he can to maximize his payday, but doing so while also making certain he’s signed, sealed and delivered back to Boston sooner rather than later. 

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Three first period goals power Bruins to 4-2 win over Blackhawks

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Three first period goals power Bruins to 4-2 win over Blackhawks

BOSTON – In their final home dress rehearsal of the preseason prior to the start of the regular season schedule at TD Garden, the Boston Bruins gave their fans plenty to cheer about.

Powered by three goals scored in the first period, the B’s took a 4-2 win over a preseason roster of Chicago Blackhawks players at the Garden to push their preseason record to 4-1-0 with a couple of exhibition games still left to be played. It was as much the players that scored as the scoring itself was the cause of excitement with Boston’s star players stepping up, and the young prospects once again demanding notice during auditions for NHL jobs.

David Pastrnak scored on a sniper shot over Corey Crawford’s glove hand just 52 seconds into the game, and Jeremy Lauzon followed 36 seconds later with a long distance blast from the left point.

Anders Bjork made it a breakout night when he stepped into a one-timer blast midway through the first while teaming up with prospective linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Brandon Saad and John Hayden pushed it back to a one-goal game midway through the second period, but a power-play strike from Bergeron in the third period gave the Bruins all the cushion they would need for victory.

Malcolm Subban got the start for the B’s between the pipes, and he was strong while stopping 24-of-26 shots that he faced, including a flurry of athletic saves in the third period that got the home crowd on its feet. Subban finished up with a strong 14 saves in the third period while helping the B’s slam the door on the Blackhawks. 

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Morning Skate: Blackhawks looking for right mix on fourth line

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Morning Skate: Blackhawks looking for right mix on fourth line

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading. while readying for the last home game of the preseason tonight. Boy that went by quickly.

*Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is looking for the right mix on the fourth line for the Hawks.

*The NHL is coming late to the China party and it makes one wonder what will happen for the Winter Olympic Games set to be played there in 2022.

*PHT writer Adam Gretz has the Arizona Coyotes wanting to retire the freshly-retired Shane Doan’s number in the future.

*Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan says that the decision to accept the White House’s invitation was independent of politics. Certainly, it was, but the timing of it and the feeble statement to go along with it left a lot to be desired.

*Pierre Lebrun goes 1-on-1 with Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien to talk about his past, his present and his future behind the bench with the Habs. I had always intended to subscribe to the Athletic, and this is the article that finally got me to do it as I get to read a few moments with one of the classiest individuals in the NHL in Julien. It certainly had a few rocky moments toward the end here in Boston for Julien, but I will always respect that guy as a coach and, more importantly, as a person.  

*For something completely different: an interesting look at Alejandro Villanueva, the only Pittsburgh Steelers player, and a proud veteran, to stand outside the tunnel and on the field for the national anthem prior to the Steelers game on Sunday.