Heading into the summer, the number one thing on the Canes’ priority list needs to be finding another goal scorer. Somewhat ironically, they might have seen the answer to their problems when they eliminated the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boston is going into a rough position and could have a decision to make regarding David Pastrnak.
Pasta is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2022-23 season and the Bruins are in an awkward position with the Czech forward. With their 1C considering retirement, the other of their first-line players out until December, and half their defense undergoing major surgery, Boston could be forced into a position to sell at next year’s NHL trade deadline. The question becomes then, do you move one of the league’s best goal scorers?
Pastrnak 3 goals and 3 assists in the playoffs against Carolina, but more importantly, he had another 40-goal season this year. In 2019-20, Pastrnak shared the Rocket Richard trophy. If you don’t know what this trophy is for, fair enough. No Cane has ever been within 100 miles of this trophy, but it is awarded to the player that scored the most goals in the regular season.
Now, the Czech winger does carry the devil’s cap hit. I’m not being sarcastic either, he makes $6,666,666 for this year upcoming. So, what do you do? You could easily decide to take a run at re-signing the winger, but is he going to want to remain through a rebuild? Do you sell him off and pray to god that the assets you get back for him are worth it? It’s a very difficult and unenvious position to be in.
As for Carolina, they need a goal scorer. They have the assets to make a deal like this. Do you want to target a rental? Would Pasta sign an extension? Would Carolina give him a reasonable offer? There are a lot of questions here. But Pastrnak should certainly be on the list if the team is going to address its goal-scoring issues.