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Training Camp

Pastrnak focused on budget meals, building on breakout season for Bruins

Forward vows to stay grounded, improve game after signing long-term contract

by Matt Kalman / NHL.com Correspondent

BOSTON -- Two days after David Pastrnak signed a six-year, $40 million contract, no one could accuse the Boston Bruins forward of being extravagant.

"I got dinner yesterday for $8 at Sarku Japan, rice and chicken teriyaki. That's the first thing I did," Pastrnak said Saturday after his first training camp practice.

The Bruins are all right with Pastrnak being tight with a dollar as long as he continues his development on the ice. With an average annual value of $6.67 million, he's now their third-highest paid forward behind centers David Krejci (AAV $7.25 million) and Patrice Bergeron (AAV $6.875 million). Last season, Pastrnak had NHL career highs in goals (34), assists (36) and points (70). He was second on the Bruins in goals and points, behind Marchand (39, 85) in each category.

 

[RELATED: Pastrnak signs six-year, $40 million contract with Bruins | Pastrnak anticipates pressure following contract]

 

But Pastrnak, 21, was a restricted free agent and negotiations dragged throughout the offseason. He didn't sign a new contract until Thursday, the first official day of training camp, and missed the first day of on-ice practice Friday, traveling here from his native Czech Republic.

Finally signed and on the ice, Pastrnak skated on a line with countryman Krejci and rookie Jake DeBrusk.

"I feel good," Pastrnak said. "Obviously I couldn't skate the last two days because I was in Czech and I had to pack and get the first flight to Boston. I didn't skate in the last two days, so it was a little bit harder of a first day. But I'm pretty sure it's going to get better every day."

Video: The guys analyze Pastrnak's six-year contract

Pastrnak, the No. 25 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, said he wasn't worried about the length of negotiations because he was letting his agent handle them and focusing on getting ready for the season. It was a little easier not to worry because of the time difference overseas; when agent J.P. Barry and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney were talking, Pastrnak was sleeping.

It also helped that Pastrnak's mother, Marcela, agreed to avoid the topic.

"I told her she can't talk about it at home, so she didn't talk about it all," Pastrnak said. "Obviously you don't really want to focus on that, I was focusing for practicing and stuff. So I [asked] her to not mention it at home or anything about hockey."

Pastrnak said his mother was proud about the contract but saddened her son had to leave. Pastrnak had become a little glum just before the signing because most of the players he was skating with had left for North America to join their team and prepare for this season.

The Bruins are counting Pastrnak building on his breakout season, and he said he doesn't intend to become complacent after earning a long-term contract.

"Obviously I want to get stronger on my legs and you want to get faster, you want to get stronger, you want to get a better shot," he said. "There's so [much] stuff you want to get better as a player and you just can't do it at once. You have to take it ... easily, you don't want to get stronger by 20 pounds in one summer."

Pastrnak (6-foot, 181 pounds) is sure to put on some weight when he buys the customary post-contract dinner for his teammates, a responsibility he's prepared for.

"We are in two groups [for practices], so I didn't really talk to [Marchand]. That's probably going to be the biggest bite," Pastrnak said. "Can't wait for him to chirp me, but that's normal. Usually when you sign, you take the guys to dinner."

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