Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators skates for the puck against David Pastrnak #88 and Riley Nash #20 of the Boston Bruins in Game Five of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 21, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) * Local Caption *

By: Andrew Thompson                                                             Twitter: @Godwentwhoops


The Boston Bruins finally filled in the final piece of the puzzle on Thursday when they came to terms with holdout forward David Pastrnak. The B’s and Pastrnak agreed on a six-year, $40 million dollar deal. The new contract carries a $6.67 million hit against the salary cap.

This is an all-around win for practically everyone that has anything to do with the Boston Bruins organization.

Pastrnak’s certainly happy. His agent was able to secure for him a $5.75 million dollar raise over his last contract. That makes him the third highest player on the team (behind fellow Czech David Krejci and the perpetually perfect Patrice Bergeron). The new contract makes him the seventh highest paid right-winger in the NHL.

The Bruins are certainly thrilled for a couple of reasons. he B’s can keep pace with the ever changing hockey market. The hockey market seems to fluctuate every five years or so. A six-year deal makes a lot of sense. The contract (which has some form of

The Bruins organization can keep pace with the ever changing hockey market. The hockey market seems to fluctuate every five years or so. Sometimes the league looks at skill and speed, sometimes it goes in a different direction.  By and large, a six-year deal makes a lot of sense. The contract (which has some form of no-trade clause to it) allows the B’s to keep Pastrnak for the foreseeable future, and have a lot of flexibility in the event Pasta’s numbers fall off (however unlikely that is).

The only question for the Bruins now is where to place Pastrnak. Will he end up on Bergeron’s top line, or will the B’s spread out the firepower by placing him with Krejci?

The Bruins’ budget walks away from this deal a winner. The B’s have problems with the cap ceiling in the past. This time around, they’ve played it smart and safe (a combination not often found among NHL front offices). The Bruins have effectively signed every player that will need playing on opening night, and they still have $2.6 million left over to work with.

The Bruins could have even more if some of the young guns are able to take jobs away from players like Ryan Spooner or Matt Beleskey.

“We have cap space,” said Sweeney according to the Boston Herald. “We have to allow our roster to play out. It may be impacted there, and the phones will start to ring as we go forward through camp and teams evaluate their situations. We’ll have some flexibility to look at things.

“We have (young) players who will have to look at the roster as an opportunity, and whether or not they can take someone’s job,” continued Sweeney. “They have to displace someone. We have a full roster of players who returned, and we were a playoff team. We want to be better. We want to be a deeper group. The talent pool has grown, and therefore the competition internally has grown.”

That’s outstanding. The Bruins will be walking into the 2017-18 season with a balanced roster and with a decent amount of cap space.

This gives the Bruins a respectable amount of flexibility for the rest of the season. If the Bruins youth movement doesn’t fire on all cylinders, the Bruins organization can hire out a one-year veteran rental to fill in the gaps down the line. Shane Doan, Jarome Iginla, even Jaromir Jagr could be grabbed at a cheap price to help fill in the gaps.

While some people may long for the days of Peter Chiarelli, Don Sweeney has done wonders fixing many of the problems left by his predecessor. It looks like a good season for the Black and Gold.