Pastrnak wants a new contract to stay with the Bruins

David Pastrnak hopes to get a new contract to stay with the Boston Bruins.

The 26-year-old forward will complete the final season of his six-year, $40 million contract (average annual $6.67 million) that he signed with Boston on September 14, 2017, and could become a free agent at the end of the campaign.

« Yeah, sure, » Pastrnak replied Friday when asked if he wanted to stay in Boston. “It was in this city that I had the chance to become the player that I am, the human being that I am. The Bruins organization was an integral part of that. I came here when I was a kid, and I’m a man now, and that makes me very happy. I made many good memories. I’ve said it many times, I love it here. It’s an honor to wear this sweater. »

Pastrnak led the Bruins in goals (40) and was second in points (77) last season, behind the forward Brad Merchant (80). He has scored at least 34 goals and 70 points in five of his last six seasons, and his 215 goals since the start of the 2016-17 season is the fifth most in the NHL.

“We like it here, that’s obvious. This is our home, Pastrnak said. This is where I became a man. I spent incredible years there with my partner Rebecca and we are very happy here. My focus right now is getting ready for the first game of the regular season. We will miss some important players, and I know I will have to be at the top of my game from the start.

“I still have all the next season left. We have plenty of time to find common ground. […] There have been a few changes. We have a new coach (Jim Montgomery). […] Sometimes it takes a bit of getting used to these things. I’m looking to be ready and help the team win, especially at the start of the season when it will be extremely difficult for us. »

The Bruins will start the season without Marchand, who had hip surgery in May. He was scheduled to skate for the first time on Friday, but his return isn’t expected until late November. Boston will also be without defenders Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk, who both underwent shoulder surgery in June. McAvoy’s return is scheduled for December, and Grzelcyk’s for November.

Boston will open its 2022-23 season against the Washington Capitals on October 12.

 » [Marchand et McAvoy] are obviously two key parts of our team, noted Pastrnak. We have an excellent core of leaders, so I’m sure we’ll be ready for the opener. It will be difficult. […] The faster we face these challenges during the season, the faster we will become a team and grow together. »

Selected by Boston in the first round (25th overall) of the 2014 draft, Pastrnak has amassed 504 points (240 goals, 264 assists) in 510 regular season games and 74 points (30 goals, 44 assists) in 70 playoff games of the Stanley Cup.

« The team wants to get along with him and has made that very clear, » Marchand said Thursday. We obviously want it to be sorted out, but we don’t want to add pressure on his shoulders. If he wants to talk to us about it, we will discuss it. Otherwise, we’ll give him some space. We all have to go through this. These are stressful times. We don’t need teammates to add to our stress levels. We just need him to score goals for us, we don’t need to bother him. »

Pastrnak admitted to being very happy with the forward’s return to the Bruins David Krejci. Krejci played in his native Czechia last season after spending 15 campaigns with Boston (2006-21). Both players helped the Czech Republic finish third at the 2022 World Championship in Finland last May. Pastrnak had 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in seven games while Krejci had 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 10 games.

« I have to say that was a highlight of my last season, the joy I felt playing hockey at the World Championship…that’s what I was looking for going there this year, and it that’s what happened, said Pastrnak. We’re obviously close friends, and I’m very happy he’s back. »

The Bruins were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the Eastern Conference First Round last season. They’ve made the playoffs the past six seasons but haven’t made it past the first round since losing in the Stanley Cup Finals in seven games to the St. Louis Blues in 2019.

« I know what I can do in this league when I’m 100 per cent healthy, and that’s what I focus on, » Pastrnak said. Injuries are part of our sport. I had a great summer, I’m healthy, and I hope to be all season. »

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