Bruins fans can rejoice. Management has finally accepted that this team needs to get younger, and by re-signing David Pastrnak to a long-term deal, the B’s will head into their rebuilding stage with one of the most efficient young guys in the NHL.
Pastrnak signed on for six years –he’ll make approximately $6.67 million each season through the end of the 2022-23 NHL season. Pastrnak, just 21, enjoyed his breakout season a year ago, when he exploded for 34 goals and 70 points overall. He was an integral piece of whatever line he was a part of –that young, athletic speedster that was a threat to score every time he touched the puck.
Re-signing Pastrnak shows that Dom Sweeney and the front office has the right mindset going forward. In the past, the Bruins have not shied away from stockpiling aging veterans, for better or worse. See Marc Recchi, Patrice Bergeron, and Zdeno Chara. Now, all three of those guys have played significant roles for the Bruins for their entire tenures in black and yellow. However, management had to make a statement here –they needed to prove that youth and potential took priority over experience. It’s a new, different direction for the B’s, but it should pay great dividends in the near future. This move doesn’t necessarily add 5 wins to the Bruins final tally this season, but it sets them up for a quicker rebuild and, hopefully, more playoff runs to come.
Over time, Bergeron, Chara and Co. will hang up the skates, opening the door for Pastrnak to become the unofficial leader on the ice. Surrounding him with young talent will allow Boston to wear down opposing defenses, win puck battles, and increase scoring chances. Again, I’m not trying to slam the older guys that have done so many great things for the franchise. It’s just exciting to see a key piece sticking around in Boston; which, as we saw, did not happen with the likes of Milan Lucic, Johnny Boychuk, and others. Buckle up, B’s fans. A Stanley Cup run might be closer than you think.