If you haven’t already realized it, Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy is going to be in for a sizeable raise on his next contract following the upcoming 2021-22 regular season. It was clear when the 23-year-old defenseman finished with a top-5 finish in Norris Trophy voting this season after posting five goals and 30 points in 51 games for the Bruins while averaging 24 minutes of ice time per game during the regular season.
Then McAvoy bumped it up with 12 points in 11 games along with 26:39 of ice time during the playoffs for the Bruins even if he didn’t have enough defensive help around him against the New York Islanders. He was arguably the best player for the Bruins during the postseason, but there’s no arguing the bump in salary that’s coming for him.
“The amount of minutes Charlie can play is…Ray was a horse out there. I remember watching him one time, he had a long shift and came to the bench, took two deep breaths and was ready to go,” said Boston Bruins President Cam Neely when asked to make comparisons between former Hall of Fame teammate Ray Bourque and McAvoy at the end of the season. “McAvoy is similar in that regard, where he can play a lot of minutes at a high level. That’s a similarity I see right now. Charlie’s developing a little bit more on the offensive blue line; Ray had that natural ability I think right from the get-go, that Charlie’s certainly come a long way [in that area].”
A big raise became even more of a reality with the new contracts for a trio of No. 1 defensemen in Seth Jones (8-year, $76 million), Miro Heskainen (8-year, $67.6 million) and Cale Makar (6-year, $54 million) over the last few days. That’s slotting McAvoy into a long-term contract that’s going to pay him between $8.5-9.5 million per season provided he remains healthy and continues his development into a dominant No. 1 D-man with another Norris-worthy season next year.
Obviously, the Bruins and McAvoy knew it was headed this way when they paid him a base salary of $7.3 million for the upcoming 2021-22 regular season his current 3-year, $14.7 million bridge contract.
But McAvoy’s increasing value, and the cap space that Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney is going to need to stash away while improving this seasons’ club, was hammered home with this week’s flurry of transactions for NHL defensemen.
Now on to the BHN Puck Links:
*I don’t want to live in an NHL world where Bobby Orr plays for the Carolina Hurricanes. It was bad enough he suited up for the Blackhawks at the end of his glorious Boston Bruins career. All kidding aside, it sounds like this Robert Orr kid drafted by the Canes could be a player.
There’s something not right about a Bobby Orr potentially playing in a Carolina Hurricanes sweater. We cant have it pic.twitter.com/DPpYr6Rmow
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) July 24, 2021
*The Flyers made some serious moves acquiring bruiser Rasmus Ristolainen from Buffalo and swapping out Jake Voracek for Cam Atkinson during NHL Draft weekend. (Philly Hockey Now)
*Keith Yandle is set to make a decision on a new NHL home prior to the start of NHL free agency and the Boston Bruins are still in the running for the local product. (Boston Hockey Now)
*The Florida Panthers also augmented their roster by adding Buffalo forward Sam Reinhart in a deal at the NHL Draft. (Florida Hockey Now)
*The Detroit Red Wings admit that Day 2 of the NHL Draft is little more than a “crap shoot” while hoping to land some high value hockey prospects. (Detroit Hockey Now)
*After all the NHL teams, including the Boston Bruins, skipped calling Aatu Raty’s name in the first round on Friday night, the Finnish center went out and scored four goals in a World Juniors showcase on Saturday. That’s impressive and of course Lou Lamoriello snagged him in the second round. (NYI Hockey Now)
*The Washington Capitals went defense, defense and defense at NHL Draft weekend while looking to add some youthfulness to an aging Capitals roster at the NHL level. (Washington Hockey Now)
*The Vegas Golden Knights did some trading down on Day 2 of the NHL Draft and added to their prospect pool. (Vegas Hockey Now)
*The San Jose Sharks got a steal in the third round of the NHL Draft with goaltender Ben Gaudreau. (San Jose Hockey Now)
*Prospect guru Corey Pronman grades out all 32 NHL teams and their drafts, and he gives the Boston Bruins a C+. I think they did a lot better than that, honestly. Lysell, Harrison and Gallagher in particular are picks that I really liked. (The Athletic)
*It sounds like the New Jersey Devils are really upping their sales pitch skills as they try to woo big time free agents like Dougie Hamilton. (New York Post)
*Congrats to Brian Boucher and the Boucher family after his son Tyler, a rugged power forward destined for Boston University, was selected in the first round by the Ottawa Senators. He would have looked great in a Boston Bruins sweater. (Ottawa Sun)
*For something completely different: Kudos to Kevin Smith for a strong update to the Masters of the Universe with his new animated series on Netflix. It’s not what I expected, but it’s very much a love letter to He-Man and the characters/toys of my youth.
This He-Man vs. Skeletor action figure dance-off is the perfect way to remind you that Masters of the Universe: Revelation is now on Netflix! pic.twitter.com/BrCFr9kZE3
— Netflix (@netflix) July 23, 2021