David Pastrnak Could Be On The Move, Which Teams Are The Most Likely Destinations?
David Pastrnak is in a tough spot. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy took the fall after falling to the Hurricanes in Game Seven of the first round. Releasing Cassidy is the latest move of GM Don Sweeney that has seemingly stepped on the toes of star forward David Pastrnak. Reports quickly surfaced on Twitter about Pasta’s dissatisfaction in Boston. The relationship between player and team now appears to be on thin ice. It’s not a surprise considering close friends Torey Krug and David Krejci both left the team in poor fashion.
With captain Patrice Bergeron’s future uncertain and a roster whose full potential seems not enough to win a cup, it could be best to move on from the Czech superstar and start a rebuild. With that in mind, here are five teams that could potentially trade for and extend David Pastrnak. I am also assuming that Boston does not deal Pasta to any of their Atlantic Division rivals for all intents and purposes.
The Los Angeles Kings
From the Bruins’ perspective, the ideal trade partner would probably be someone who plays out west. It appears that the LA Kings could fit exactly what the Bruins are looking for. A young team with assets to send and cap space to fully absorb Pasta’s $6,666,667 salary cap hit. And for the Kings, they are looking to build upon the success of 2021-2022 rather than slip back into lottery status. Furthermore, adding a little star power in the process doesn’t hurt. Pastrnak gives the Kings a go-to scorer, something they lacked against the Edmonton Oilers, especially in Game 7.
As well, the Kings could put together a very strong offer. Assets like Arthur Kaliyev, the 19th pick in the 2022 Draft, and even the rights to Sean Durzi could be included. However, they could really tickle the Bruins’ fancy by dangling Quinton Byfield. I totally agree that it would be very poor asset management. However, the former #2 pick would give the Bruins a long-term replacement for record Selke winner Patrice Bergeron. Additionally, who doesn’t love LA weather?
The Anaheim Ducks
The Kings’ next-door rivals could also give them a run for their money. With the second-highest amount of cap space in the league, and a need to surround Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry with more talent, the Ducks would be hard-pressed not to at least make a call about Pastrnak. They already happen to own Boston’s first-round pick at 22 from the Hampus Lindholm trade. As well, they have the #10 overall pick to use as well. Younger players like Jamie Drysdale or Max Comtois could also intrigue the Bruins. While the Ducks may not have a premier ace up their sleeve like Byfield for LA, they definitely could add a lot of draft picks to make something happen, as they own Boston’s second-round pick in 2023 and 2024 as well.
The Winnipeg Jets
This may seem out of left field, but I do see a fit for Pasta in Winnipeg. Blake Wheeler is getting up there in age. They have $18 million in cap room with PLD their only major free agent to re-up. With 2 first-round picks in 2022 and a handful of young assets, would the Jets want to swing for the fences? Logan Stanley, Cole Perfetti, and the Rangers 2022 pick are all enticing. However, including Nikolaj Ehlers could truly be the X-factor for Winnipeg. With a pretty decent blueline in place, they probably wouldn’t need to sell him off for another defenseman. Would Boston pull the trigger knowing someone who could replace Pasta’s production comes back? I’m sure Don Sweeney would at least consider.
The New Jersey Devils
The Devils are absolutely crying out to make their voice heard in the bloodbath that is the Metropolitan Division. Cashing in on some of their rebuild assets for Pastrnak would be a good start. It’s safe to say that Jack Hughes has truly arrived in the NHL. Jesper Bratt was great this season. A top line of those two plus Pasta would be must-see TV. The Devils don’t have a ton of picks but they do have young talent. Dawson Mercer, Pavel Zacha, Ty Smith, and others could turn Boston’s attention. Luke Hughes is an intriguing prospect but it would probably piss his brother off. The Devils have $25 million in cap space so a possible extension wouldn’t be an issue.
The New York Islanders
Did you guys forget who is writing this article? Of course, I had to mention the Islanders! Lou Lamoriello’s main order of business is still finding a top-line forward to join Mathew Barzal. And this offseason has no shortage of options! Kevin Fiala, Johnny Gaudreau, Filip Forsberg, etc. However, Pastrnak should be their #1 target. Barzal has been vocal about preferring a right-handed winger to play with and you can’t do much better than a former Rocket Richard winner. The Islanders could put together a pretty decent offer, and with $12 million in cap space they could certainly tie him down.
The #13 pick in the draft and top prospect Aatu Raty is a good start. New England native Oliver Wahlstrom makes a lot of sense in this deal. In terms of attaching some salary, either Josh Bailey or Anthony Beauvillier would have to be included. With all their picks in place for 2023, they could even risk some additional capital if it means acquiring someone like Pasta. A trade like this could get Islanders fans everywhere thinking that years like 2020 and 2021 could be on the horizon once again.
All in all, David Pastrnak has a lot to think about. With extension talks likely taking place in July, he will have all options exhausted this offseason. However, if he would rather take the next flight out of Boston, don’t be surprised to see these five teams get involved.