Though the Boston Bruins are still scrambling to sign up-and-coming star forward David Pastrnak to a deal, they don’t have to worry about center Ryan Spooner returning to the ice.
The 25-year-old Ottawa native narrowly avoided arbitration with the only NHL team he’s ever known and signed a one-year, $2.825 million deal with the Bruins in late July.
While it’s hard to get excited about Spooner, especially compared to Pastrnak, this season should be the one we have always hoped he would deliver.
2017-18 will be the first campaign Spooner sees a paycheck over $1 million dollars. Spooner received $950,000 annually for the previous two years, receiving only a $72,500 pay raise from his entry-level contract. This offseason, he reportedly asked $3.85 million a year, while the Bruins only wanted to give him $2 million for one year. At an impasse, the centerman filed for arbitration, where a third party would settle a number for them. On the day of the hearing, though, hours before going in, it was announced that the Bruins and Spooner came to an agreement upon $2.825 million for one year.
The details on the contract says how each side feels on the matter. Both parties were able to meet in the middle, showing that neither are ready to part with the other just yet – especially considering the fact that the team still hasn’t traded Spooner over the years – and a willingness to work on the upcoming season.
But that’s all it will be: one season. Spooner has 84 games to get his game in gear and give the organization, who will no doubt be breathing even more heavily down his neck now, the true breakout season they expect from him. The pressure of a one-year deal has usually benefitted other players extremely well, including Jaromir Jagr and Jarome Iginla in the 2013-2014 season, but if Spooner can’t deliver, it’s unlikely that anyone will holler at Bruins general manager Don Sweeney to give him another chance at the end of the season.