David Pastrnak hopes to sign a contract to stay with the Boston Bruins.
The 26-year-old forward is entering the final season of a six-year, $40 million contract (average annual value of $6.67 million) he signed with Boston on September 14, 2017 and can become a free agent unrestricted after this season.
“Yeah sure,” Pastrnak said Friday of staying with Boston. “This city is where I was blessed to become the player that I am, the human being that I am. And the Boston organization has been an amazing part of that. I came here when I was a child and now I’m a man so [it] makes me really happy. Many good memories. I’ve said it many times, I like it here. It’s an honor to wear this shirt.”
Pastrnak led the Bruins in goals (40) and was second in points (77) last season, behind the forward Brad Merchant (80). He’s had at least 34 goals and 70 points in five of the past six seasons, and his 215 goals since 2016-17 rank him fifth in the NHL.
“Obviously we love this place. It’s our home,” Pastrnak said. “That’s where I became a man. I’ve had some amazing years with (partner) Rebecca and we’re really happy here. Obviously my goal is to move forward to be ready for Game 1 (from the regular season) We’re going to miss some key players and I know I have to be on my game from the start.
“I still have the whole season. We still have the whole season to figure things out. … There have been some changes. We have a new coach (Jim Montgomery). … These things sometimes take time. I concentrate to to be ready and to help the team win, especially at the start of the season when it’s going to be extremely tough for us.”
The Bruins will start the season without Marchand, who underwent hip surgery in May. He skated for the first time on Friday but is not expected to play until the end of November. They will also be without defenders Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk, who underwent shoulder surgery in June. McAvoy is expected to return in December and Grzelcyk in November.
Boston will open the Washington Capitals season on October 12.
“[Marchand and McAvoy] are obviously two key players for our team,” Pastrnak said. “…We have a great leadership core, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be ready from game one. It will be difficult. … The sooner you complete these challenges, the better you become as a team and grow together.”
Selected by Boston in the first round (25th overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Pastrnak had 504 points (240 goals, 264 assists) in 510 regular season games and 74 points (30 goals, 44 assists) in 70 playoffs of the Stanley Cup. Games.
“The team wants it to happen and they’ve made that very clear,” Marchand said Thursday of a new contract for Pastrnak. “It’s something we obviously want to happen, but we don’t need to add any pressure. … if he wants to talk about it, that’s kind of how you leave it. … If not, give him the space. We all have to go through this. These are stressful times. You don’t need guys to add to that level of stress. … We just need him to score goals to we don’t need to reject it.
Pastrnak said he was happy that the striker David Krejci will return to the Bruins. Krejci played last season in his native Czech Republic after playing 15 seasons with Boston (2006-21). The two helped Czechia finish third at the 2022 IIHF World Championship in Finland in May. Pastrnak had 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in seven games, and Krejci had 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in 10 games.
“I have to say it was a highlight of my last season, the joy it brought me back to playing hockey again with the World Championship (which) is what I was looking for when I went there this year. and it happened,” Pastrnak said. “We’re obviously close friends and I’m really happy he’s back.”
The Bruins lost to the Carolina Hurricanes in seven games in the Eastern Conference First Round last season. They have qualified for the playoffs for six straight seasons but haven’t made it past the second round since losing to the St. Louis Blues in seven games in the 2019 Stanley Cup Finals.
“I know what I can do in this league when I’m 100% healthy and that’s just my biggest goal,” Pastrnak said. “Injuries are part of the game. … I’ve had a great summer, I’m healthy, so hopefully that lasts the whole season.”