Between signing his contract, flying over to Boston and getting his first training camp session under his belt, David Pastrnak has found little time to sleep over the last 48 hours.
Prior to Pastrnak’s arrival, his teammates were having fun at his expense.
“Oh, that got done?” a cunning Brad Marchand said on Friday. “It will be great to have Pasta back. He’s just awesome to have around the room. He’s always laughing, having a good time and joking around and obviously a phenomenal player around the ice.”
“We’ll get that guy across the sea to do all the testing,” David Backes said minutes after Pastrnak’s signing became official on Thursday, “and hopefully with all of us watching a little hazing for the, I don’t what was it, a 20-30 minute holdout? [laughs]. So we’ll give him a hard time for that, but it’s great to see that everyone will be here and we’re at full power going into the season.”
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For those 48 hours, fans anticipated Pastrnak’s arrival to Boston. That came Friday night at Logan Airport. Upon arriving, Pastrnak spent his first purchase of his new eight-year, $60 million salary on chicken and rice at Sarku, a Japanese establishment chain at the Cambridge Side Galleria (among one of its several locations).
On Saturday, it was back to business for Pastrnak. Two days behind the rest of his teammates, Pastrnak went through the normal start of training camp obligations comprised of a photo shoot and off-ice testing. At 10:05 a.m. he took to the ice for the first time since the Bruins’ Game 6 loss to the Senators. A couple of hours later, he fielded questions from the media about his negotiations and rejoining his teammates.
“Both sides wanted [the deal] to get done as soon is it could get done,” Pastrnak said about the negotiations. “Sometimes it can’t get done until the last minute, but I thought [agent] J.P. [Barry] got a great job and I trusted him and let him do his job.”
Sure, the timing could have been a bit better, but the most important thing here is that it didn’t escalate. Pastrnak got a good payday and GM Don Sweeney put the Bruins in a good salary cap situation for this season and beyond.
Both sides wanted an agreement. Both got it. And as far as Pastrnak goes, he really didn’t need to be involved or interfere with the discussions all that much.
“To be honest, I really let J.P. do his job,” Pastrnak said. “Obviously it was my first time [for negotiating a new contract] and I didn’t really know how it works, so I didn’t really do much, and Sweens [Sweeney] has negotiated many contracts, so I left it up to them.”
With the off-ice business behind him, Pastrnak has his sights set on building off a career year where he tallied 34 goals and 36 assists in 75 games. Sure, he might have been paid based off one year of production, but even with time between Boston and Providence in Year 1 and an early season injury in Year 2, the 21-year-old showed progression in each of his first three seasons.
On Saturday, Pastrnak was slotted with fellow countryman David Krejci and another fellow youngster hoping to crack the Bruins’ opening night roster in Jake DeBrusk.
Off the ice, Pastrnak knows he eventually has to pay for his teammates’ dinner. That is a perk that comes with a new contract. We can only assume that the bill will be more than the $8 he spent on chicken and rice, especially for one particular teammate who is known to be quite the chirper.
“I haven’t really been asked to do that yet with the two groups [at training camp],” Pastrnak said. “I know Marchy [Marchand] is the biggest one to take care of because he chirps, but it’s normal that when you sign you take the guys out for dinner. So maybe I’ll save that for the season.”
Pastrnak’s teammates will certainly appreciate the one-night dinner courtesy. More importantly, they are happy to see him back practicing, and Pastrnak is thrilled to be back on the Warrior Ice Arena surface.