Bruins

‘I love it here’: David Pastrnak expresses desire to remain with Bruins entering contract year

The Bruins have expressed a desire to keep Pastrnak, too.

David Pastrnak wants to celebrate more goals in a Bruins jersey for years to come. AP Photo/Michael Dwye

David Pastrnak arrived in Boston in the fall of 2014 as a shy 18-year-old kid. Over time, the dynamic Czech playmaker matured into one of the elite goal scorers in the National Hockey League.

Pastrnak developed into a bonafide sniper and became a threat to light the lamp every time he touched the puck during his eight-year tenure. His patented one-timer from the faceoff dot became his go-to weapon, yet Pastrnak showcased more variety with his scoring touch, from the occasional greasy goal to scoring off the rush with the likes of David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Taylor Hall and Brad Marchand (to name a few) flanking him.

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Pastrnak’s electric personality resonates with his teammates and passionate Bruins fanbase, whether through his entertaining ad campaigns for Dunkin Donuts or his stylish gameday wardrobe.

On Friday, Pastrnak arrived at Warrior Ice Arena for his first on-ice session of the season.

Pastrnak enters the final year of his 6-year, $40 million contract in 2022-23. His future in Boston became a talking point over the summer throughout the media. Amid the speculation, Pastrnak expressed his desire to remain a Bruin following captains’ practice in Brighton.

“Yeah, of course,” Pastrnak told reporters regarding his desire to remain in Boston. “This city is where I got the chance to become the player I am, to become the human being I am. Boston, the organization is an unbelievable part of it. I came here as a kid, and now I’m a man. I’m extremely happy. A lot of great memories. I’ve said many times I love it here, and it’s an honor to wear this jersey.”

Boston general manager Don Sweeney discussed wanting to ink Pastrnak to a new contract throughout the summer.

Both parties appear to have an agreement on that. The timing of a potential new, lucrative deal for Pastrnak is anyone’s guess. The Bruins could go down a similar route with the Charlie McAvoy deal last year (eight years, $76 million) and sign Pastrnak before the start of the regular season. Or they could wait to hammer out a new contract during the regular season.

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Pastrnak has averaged nearly a point per game during his eight years in Boston (504 points in 510 games). He’ll likely approach or even surpass eight figures in his next contract.

Ideally, Pastrnnak wants to raise the Stanley Cup in a Bruins uniform. Yet, an aging core and a thin prospect pool prompted speculation that Pastrnak may wait to sign a potential new deal amid a murky future.

“It’s not really my job to look at what the team’s going to be two, three years from now,” Pastrnak said of Boston’s future. “I’m a player and I’m just gonna try my best to help the team win. I’m here to do my job. That’s kind of what I’m thinking about and focusing on.”

Pastrnak’s top job description: producing offense.

The Bruins will lean on their star winger again to carry the offensive load, especially with Marchand, McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk all missing time to start the season. And Pastrnak and the rest of the team will have to acclimate to a new system under first-year bench boss Jim Montgomery.

Pastrnak thrived in the past under similar circumstances, including an in-season coaching change from Claude Julien to Bruce Cassidy during his third year. He became a fan favorite as he entered his adult life. He’s formed bonds with the fans, his teammates, and his partner Rebecca Rohlsson.

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With a new season approaching, Pastrnak remains keen on helping his team win, both short and long-term.

“Yeah, obviously we love it here,” Pastrnak said. “This is our home. This is where I’ve become a man. Spent unbelievable years with Rebecca, and we are really happy here. But obviously, my focus moving forward is to be ready for Game 1.”

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