Appearing on NBCSports Boston Thursday night, Boston Bruins Team President Cam Neely told NBCSportsBoston.com Bruins reporter Joe Haggerty that he realizes time is winding down for the team to sign restricted free agent defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo before training camp begins in just over a month.
“We do have to plan and prepare for these players to not be at camp opening day,” Neely told Haggerty.
Despite drawing up a contingency plan, Neely still remains hopeful the team can avoid any holdouts.
“But we have five, six weeks hopefully to get something done. We feel like we should be able to get something done with both of these guys at numbers that make sense for us, and hopefully makes sense for them. I think we’ve done a really good job of kind of managing the cap and making sure that we’re OK to get these guys done.”
As the first weekend in August got underway and the Bruins with just $7.2 million to spend under the salary cap, McAvoy, 21, and Carlo, 22, remained unsigned. As of late, there has been no news on any progress on a new contract for either of them.
Carlo could still sign an offer sheet from another club but McAvoy cannot because he has fewer than three years of accrued experience due to the 40-game rule. He burned a year off his entry-level contract when the team signed him just in time for the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There is always the option of a one-year bridge deal for both players as well. Both Carlo and McAvoy have until December 1 to sign a new contract or they will not be eligible for the 2019-20 season.
In an injury-riddled regular season that saw him play just 54 games, McAvoy scored seven goals and notched 21 assists. In the Bruins’ run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, McAvoy had two goals and six assists in 23 games. The former Boston University star has 46 assists and 60 points in 119 career regular season games and 13 helpers and 16 points in 41 playoff games.
Carlo had a tremendous third season in the NHL, becoming one of the better young shutdown defensemen in the NHL in 2019-20. He was also finally able to play in the playoffs after being injured the previous two seasons. After notching 8 assists and ten points in 72 regular season games, Carlo had two goals and two assists in 24 playoff games. Carlo has amassed eight goals and 24 assists in 230 regular season games.