David Krejci

Bruins Contract Talks

Boston Bruins centre David Krejci celebrates after scoring on Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 6, 2011. Photo by Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

Boston Bruins centre David Krejci celebrates after scoring on Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 6, 2011. Photo by Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

This isn’t the contract update that Bruins fans are waiting for, but it is significant none the less – David Krejci and the Boston Bruins have started extension talks.

Krejci, who will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2011-2012 season, has been the number one center for the Bruins in the absence of Marc Savard. Krejci will make $4.0m for the 2011-12 season after making $3.5m and $3.75m over the last two years. If an extension is reached, Krejci will likely be in the $4.5m – $5.0m (or even more) yearly range until perhaps 2015. Krejci has had better numbers than Patrice Bergeron over the last three years, and Bergeron will earn $15m over the next 3 years. It should be noted that Bergeron’s concussion in 2007 likely hindered his performance and he is only now back in top form. 

Patrice Bergeron

Brad Marchand

Krejci should also be able to negotiate for a no-trade/no-movement clause in his contract. While looking at recent history of contract negotiations similar to David Krejci, the Boston Bruins will most likely lock him in for an extended period of time prior to the start of the season. There is one ongoing event that could complicate a quick deal, and that is Brad Marchand and his lack of a contract. With the future makeup of the team not crystal clear, neither Krejci nor the Bruins want to commit to a set amount until the true value of Marchand is established.

While Boston and GM Peter Chiarelli still want to get Marchand and his talents under lock and key, there seems to be an obstacle in regards to money, years, or both. The recent rumors about the Bruins “sniffing out a Marchand trade” may be only a bargaining tactic for the Bruins. Similar to the Phil Kessel deal that facilitated his way out of town, the Bruins might use what other teams offer up for a trade to establish a worth for Marchand, and to remind Marchand and his agent that no hands are tied. Marchand has a bit of leverage as well when comparing himself to the New York Rangers’ Sean Avery. Many comparisons have been made between the two, and Avery is sitting at $4.0m per year with a disappointing output of 30 points per season over the last three years.

Sean Avery

Phil Kessel

Unless another GM is willing to put up a similar offer for Marchand that Toronto put up for Kessel, we will be seeing the fan favorite “pesky” winger sporting a spoked B for a few years to come. But don’t be surprised if the Bruins find an offer of a first round pick plus a valuable asset a little too tempting.

The fact that the Bruins are letting it be known publically that Krejci is in contract negotiations is a shot across the bow of Marchand’s ship. A clear signal to Marchand that he isn’t the only act in town, despite being the most popular with the fans. This is also why David Krejci and the Bruins won’t rush a contract signing. If Marchand is traded for a pick and an asset, the new asset may be a more talented player from a team looking to dump salary. This could scare the Bruins away from having another $5.0m contract in house.

If the Bruins decide to give Marchand a $4.5m-5.0m deal, then Krejci could command around $6.0m per year. It is still possible for Marchand to simply hold out, with not one side winning – Marchand, the Bruins, or the fans. The fact that Marchand is participating in Zdeno Chara‘s captain’s practice on a daily basis does appear to be a good sign though.

Training camp is 4 days away.

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Tags: @fansidedderekc Boston Bruins Brad Marchand Concussion David Krejci Marc Savard Patrice Bergeron Phil Kessel Sean Avery Vancouver Canucks

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