Sweeney pleased with Pas­tr­nak con­tract

Pawtucket Times - - SPORTS - By MATT KALMAN Associated Press

BOS­TON — The Bos­ton Bru­ins are hop­ing to build off last sea­son when they reached the Stan­ley Cup play­offs for the first time in three sea­sons. They took a step in the right di­rec­tion by sign­ing for­ward David Pas­tr­nak to a six-year con­tract worth $40 mil­lion on Thurs­day.

The team had been ne­go­ti­at­ing with the re­stricted free agent over the sum­mer. Pas­tr­nak had ca­reer highs with 34 goals, 70 points and a plus-11 last sea­son.

“I al­ways said we were go­ing to find a deal,” Bru­ins gen­eral man­ager Don Sweeney said at a news con­fer­ence at War­rior Ice Arena. “There was a strong level of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. And I just think the work paid off for both sides to find a good land­ing spot.”

A na­tive of the Czech Repub­lic, Pas­tr­nak was a firstround pick in the 2014 draft. In his three-year NHL ca­reer, he's reg­is­tered 59 goals and 64 as­sists in 172 games.

The 21-year-old will make $6.67 mil­lion a sea­son. He'll be the Bru­ins' third high­est-paid for­ward af­ter cen­ters David Kre­jci ($7.25 mil­lion) and Pa­trice Berg­eron ($6.87 mil­lion).

The Bru­ins are en­ter­ing their first train­ing camp un­der coach Bruce Cas­sidy, who led them to an 18-8-1 record and their first play­off berth since 2014 last sea­son as the in­terim coach af­ter the fir­ing of Claude Julien. Pas­tr­nak's sign­ing will al­low Cas­sidy to im­ple­ment his sys­tems and strate­gies with a full com­ple­ment of play­ers, with­out wor­ry­ing about dis­sen­sion in the ranks be­cause of the ab­sence one of the Bru­ins' bet­ter play­ers.

“Well, we are a bet­ter team with him in the lineup, I think that's ob­vi­ous,” Cas­sidy said. 'So it'll be great to see him. I think the play­ers would feel the same way, but good for Donny to get it done.”

Cas­sidy de­scribed Pas­tr­nak as a “dy­namic” of­fen­sive player who is im­prov­ing as a two-way player. The right wing also has an im­pact off the ice as on it.

“Peo­ple like him, he's got a great per­son­al­ity, comes to the rink with a smile on his face, fans en­joy watch­ing him play,” Cas­sidy said.

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