BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins were already on pace for the best record in NHL history when they added toughness and depth for what they hope will be a long playoff run.
Now general manager Don Sweeney has helped secure the team’s future, too.
The Bruins signed All-Star forward David Pastrnak to an eight-year contract extension on Thursday that will pay him $90 million — the sixth-richest deal in NHL history. The deal locks up one of the league’s MVP candidates through the 2030-31 season for $11.25 million a season.
Pastrnak, 26, is second in the league this season with 42 goals, adding 38 assists while leading Boston to the best record in the NHL. He has spent all of his nine NHL seasons with the Bruins, totaling 282 goals and 302 assists in his career.
He had been eligible to become a free agent after this season.
The Bruins also added forward Tyler Bertuzzi on Thursday in a deal that will send a top-10 protected first-round pick in 2024 and a fourth-rounder in 2025 to Detroit. (The Red Wings are retaining half of Bertuzzi’s salary for the rest of the season.) Last week, Sweeney acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov and forward Garnet Hathaway from Washington.
Bertuzzi, 28, helps fill a gap left by Taylor Hall’s injury. The 2010 No. 1 overall draft pick, who has 16 goals and 20 assists this season, was placed on long-term injured reserve on Thursday, a move that costs the team one of its top forwards but saves $6 million against the salary cap.
Bertuzzi has 14 points in 29 games this season with the Red Wings. He has 88 goals and 114 assists in 305 regular-season games. He has yet to reach the playoffs in the NHL. Forward Nick Foligno was placed on injured reserve. He has 10 goals and 16 assists this season.
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