Boston Bruins: Charlie McAvoy extension is a steal

Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Charlie McAvoy #73 of the Boston Bruins (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Boston Bruins have locked up star defenseman Charlie McAvoy, agreeing to an 8-year, $76 million contract extension. After extending fellow blueliner Brandon Carlo earlier this year, the B’s now have two of their top three defenseman locked into long term deals.

For the 23-year-old McAvoy, the extension will make him the fourth highest-paid defenseman by AAV, at $9.5 million per year. It locks McAvoy in Boston through the 2029-30 season, keeping him in the city that he’s been in since enrolling at Boston University in 2015.

The Boston Bruins locked up McAvoy at the perfect time

I’ll start by saying this. At this very moment, McAvoy isn’t quite a $9.5 million player. He’s amazing, and by far the best defenseman the Bruins have, but looking at the contract just from today’s standpoint makes it seem like a bit of an overpay. In reality, it’s anything but.

This guy is an absolute stud. He’s a minute eating, two-way defenseman who should have done better than he did in last year’s Norris Trophy voting. Every year he has improved and become more reliable on defense while simultaneously expanding his offensive game.

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And that’s why this deal is so great. We know what McAvoy’s floor is, but we have no clue just how high his ceiling can be. Once again, he’s only 23.

With more and more money coming in from TV deals and fans being back in stadiums, the NHL’s cap is set to rise over the next few years. As that happens, so will contracts, and $9.5 million for a truly elite defenseman will end up being a bargain. Contract extensions are all about timing, and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney got this deal signed at the perfect moment.

McAvoy set to grow into his new deal with the Boston Bruins

The first thing that anyone who doesn’t like this deal points to is McAvoy’s career high in points being only 32. Well, all through training camp and the preseason, he’s been on the top power play unit. His point total this season is going to explode simply thanks to those extra power play minutes surrounded by the best offensive weapons the Boston Bruins have to offer.

And it will come as no surprise if once that starts happening, his five-on-five offensive production jumps as he gains even more confidence than he already has. Within the first few years of this extension, which kicks in next year, we should see him transform from the strong two-way defenseman he is now to an uncontainable superstar that changes the game on a nightly basis.

I think there’s a real chance that McAvoy will come close to doubling his previous high, and anything less than 50 points would be a real disappointment in my book. If that’s the case, I predict he’ll take home the Norris Trophy this year.

McAvoy set to lead the next era of Boston Bruins hockey

With this massive extension, the B’s have made it clear that McAvoy is THE guy going forward. As we’ve seen, the Bruins have been undergoing a changing of the guard. Most of the old core has now gone, first Zdeno Chara, then with the bell seemingly ringing for Tuukka Rask, and finally with David Krejci returning to the Czech Republic.

The only holdovers, really, are Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. And although no Bruins fan wants to admit it, both of those guys realistically only have a few seasons left.

So who is better to eventually take up the captaincy than the guy that Chara took under his wing in his final seasons in Boston? It seems like the perfect continuation to me, and I have to believe that’s what the Bruins are planning.

All in all, I absolutely love this deal. McAvoy is young, proven, and improving every year. By year three of this extension, people around Boston will be wondering how Sweeney convinced him to sign for less than $10 million a year.

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Our first chance to see the newly extended McAvoy is tonight at 7pm as the Boston Bruins take on the Dallas Stars in their season opener.