Boston Bruins: Brandon Carlo’s extension is a risk worth taking

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Brandon Carlo #25 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 23: Brandon Carlo #25 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

On Wednesday, the Boston Bruins locked up Brandon Carlo, one of their defensive anchors, with a six-year, $24.6M extension. Carlo’s average annual value now sits at $4.1M, a fair compensation for an instrumental part of the Bruins’ defense.

Even then, the AAV isn’t an issue here. Brandon Carlo – when healthy – is worth every penny of $4.1M, and the move doesn’t hamstring the Bruins cap-wise, as they still have just over $24M in cap space this offseason. However, the length of the contract, combined with Carlo’s less than stellar injury history, is a cause for concern.

Carlo has had almost constant concussion injuries in the last two seasons, forcing him to miss multiple important games, including the last three games of the second round series against the New York Islanders that sent the Bruins home early. Despite that, resigning Carlo felt like a necessity coming into the offseason.

Why the Boston Bruins needed to resign Brandon Carlo

A healthy Carlo leads to a more complete Boston Bruins team. We all know what Carlo is and what he isn’t.

While he doesn’t offer very much offensively, he is a big body that teams have trouble maneuvering around, and he’s solid on the forecheck. He’s Kevan Miller in a young man’s body, but with better puck skills. Which, if he puts these concussions behind him, will be a great fit and a great value for the Bruins.

Next. Bruins should take chance on Oliver Ekman-Larsson. dark

However, if Carlo doesn’t complete his game a bit more or continues to miss time extended time with injuries, the Bruins would be best served to trade him before his modified no-trade clause kicks in in 2023-24. This gives Carlo two seasons to prove to the Bruins that he can stay healthy and that his play is worth keeping him around as a top-4 defenseman.

Locking Carlo up was necessary for the Bruins, especially after Miller’s retirement announcement came yesterday. Despite this, the contract length and the modified no-trade clause have the hourglass running on Don Sweeney and the Bruins front office. If Carlo is unable to stay healthy or continues to be a mostly one-dimensional defenseman, then Sweeney and Co. might be best served to move on from Carlo before his modified no-trade clause goes into effect.