As the Boston Bruins prepare to open their six-game preseason slate, they got some very great news over the weekend that involved one of their own.
Bruins’ defenseman Charlie McAvoy signed a three-year contract extension worth $4.9 million per season. He later joined his teammates on the ice for practice after the team officially announced the signing. The holdout for the restricted free agent is over.
The process seemingly took much longer than both sides had expected, but it was certainly worth the wait for everyone involved. The Bruins were able to lock up one of their blue-chip prospects for the next several years, and McAvoy still gets a significant salary increase from the past two seasons. One of the most attractive aspects about the deal is that McAvoy is only 21 years of age, so when this short-term deal expires, he will still be able to get an even bigger contract extension by the time he approaches his mid-20s.
Talk about a win-win situation, right?
With the way the National Hockey League operates nowadays, these types of young players that are projected to be cornerstones of a franchise should be getting paid a lot more than what the Long Beach, New York native received in this deal. However, this particular circumstance was a bit different; both the Bruins and McAvoy needed to find a middle ground.
The Bruins were forced to burn the first year of McAvoy’s rookie deal because the team was decimated by injuries on the blue line heading into the 2016-17 Stanley Cup playoffs. The former first-round pick skated in just six postseason games and registered three assists.
In his first two-full seasons with the big club following that postseason appearance, McAvoy found it impossible to stay healthy. He played in only 117 games in the span of two years, posting 14 goals and 46 assists. During Boston’s most recent Stanley Cup playoff run, he recorded eight points in 23 games.
The numbers were there for McAvoy and everyone knows that he has the capability to put up some great offensive stats, but the sample size was just too small. In the eyes of Bruins’ management, they seemed to agree judging by the bridge contract they offered McAvoy.
The fact that the team was somewhat handcuffed by the salary cap played a role as well, but there are ways around that problem and the team would have figured something out to make everything work. This deal allowed the team to re-up one of the most valued free agents in the organization at a reasonable cost, but it also gives McAvoy a chance to prove that he will be worth the mega extension when this deal expires in three years.
This was a great piece of news that broke over the weekend. Good for the Bruins to get this deal done and good for McAvoy who deserves this pay raise.