There is encouraging news on the horizon for the Boston Bruins as it sounds like a contract extension with No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy is in the works. Nothing is imminent, of course, but Boston Bruins President Cam Neely sounded optimistic when discussing a potential new deal with McAvoy and said there have been ongoing discussions between the Bruins and McAvoy’s camp.
“Don [Sweeney] and [Bruins assistant GM] Evan [Gold] have been working with Charlie’s camp the last couple of days, so my hopes are that we’ll see something in short order,” said Neely during a zoom call with the Bruins media on Wednesday afternoon. “But you never know until it’s signed on the dotted line.”
Clearly, it’s going to be a long-term contract for big bucks in the $9 million per season range based on other comparable young defensemen contracts around the league. Perhaps it’s a little less given Don Sweeney’s penchant for being able to get his own players to take hometown discounts to remain in Boston, but it’s also an ongoing negotiation that hasn’t been taken to the finish line quite yet.
Either way, a big raise is more of a reality for McAvoy after watching new deals for Seth Jones (8-year, $76 million), Miro Heskainen (8-year, $67.6 million) and Cale Makar (6-year, $54 million) get finalized over the summer.
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.
Clearly the Boston Bruins and McAvoy knew it was headed this way beforehand when they paid him a base salary of $7.3 million for the upcoming 2021-22 regular season in the final year of his current 3-year, $14.7 million bridge contract.
The Athletic’s Pierre Lebrun says no deal is imminent between the two sides currently, but we all know those kinds of things can change quickly in negotiations where both parties really want to get something done.
I would be surprised if it didn’t get done eventually but at this hour, yes talks are ongoing between both sides, but my sense is there’s still work to be done here on the McAvoy extension… https://t.co/GL7AZqTgPe
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 13, 2021
Neely said every indication he’s had is that McAvoy loves being a member of the Boston Bruins and wants to continue with that for a long time to come.
“In the past we’ve been very fair and honest when we negotiate with them. It’s not about trying to win anything. It’s trying to land at the right spot where both sides are very happy and that’s what we hope to do with Charlie [McAvoy],” said Neely. “I haven’t heard any indication that Charlie wouldn’t want to play here for his whole career, so that’s what we’re looking toward. Hopefully we can get something done that will allow him to do just that.”
Clearly the Boston Bruins are moving McAvoy into a leadership role with the team after giving him the “A” during the preseason and indicating he may be part of a small group of players that rotate an alternate captaincy this season.
“So in the preseason, we put an ‘A’ on different guys,” Cassidy said. “[David Pastrnak], Charlie [McAvoy] and Brandon [Carlo]. Those are three younger guys that have now been here for a while. Listen, I can’t predict where they’re going to be in. …let’s assume that contract-wise and all those things that they’re here.
“They’re the next wave of the leaders in the core group of this team and they’re already kind of pushing their way into that group if they’re not already in it. I would say they are ‘the younger core’ I guess, let’s put it that way, and the older core, it’s more ‘Bergy’ [Bergeron], ‘Marsh’ [Marchand], and etcetera.”
All signs point toward the Bruins planning for McAvoy to take the reins of this team at some point soon, and the 23-year-old defenseman may well have the lucrative contract to go along with those expectations sooner rather than later.