Following the Bruins 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at TD Garden Saturday night, the team announced they have signed Pavel Zacha to a 4-year, $19 million deal that carries an average annual value of $4.75 million.
There was a lot of angst on social media as fans are worried this deal somehow affects the Bruins ability to sign pending unrestricted free agent and fellow countryman David Pastrnak. Others felt that the deal was too long and the cap hit too high.
Let’s first compare the cap hit. Some of the comparables are: Ilya Mikheyev (Vancouver) – $4.75 million; Mason Marchment (Dallas) – $4.5 million; Blake Coleman (Calgary) – $4.9 million; Mike Hoffman (Montreal) – $4.5 million; Brandon Saad (St Louis) – $4.5 million, and there are more.
Can we compare stats?
Certainly, Zacha’s production is on par, if not better than the comparables I mentioned. The fact that he can play all three forward positions carries value not just to the Bruins, but around the league. And the fact he can play in all situations also carries value, not to mention the fact he can play up and down the lineup success.
The cap hit is fair market value and credit goes to Zacha’s camp and Even Gold for getting this deal done. The Bruins made no secret about wanting to get a longer deal done when the Bruins acquired him from the New Jersey Devils. And while they have had discussions for a couple of weeks, they couldn’t enter into negotiations or sign an extension until January 1. Pending unrestricted free agents on one-year deals can not sign an extension until the new calendar year.
I don’t understand those complaining that this affects their ability to extend Pastrnak though. You have to take care of all the business that is in front of you and Zacha is a part of that. Some even suggest that Zacha’s role could have been filled with an entry level contract and that would leave more money available to sign Pastrnak. Maybe, or maybe not. There isn’t a prospect in Providence that can bring what Zacha does at this point.
I understand the fan’s hesitancy when it comes to the cap. But what I have confidence in is that Gold has always found a way to get the Bruins out of cap problems and he will continue to do so.