Charlie McAvoy left no doubt in wake of the Bruins’ loss to the St. Louis Blues in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final that he hopes to remain with Boston for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t want to go anywhere. (Boston) is the best place on earth,” McAvoy told reporters last week during breakup day. “This is home for me now. I live here in the summer. I love it here. I want to be here forever.”
McAvoy is a restricted free agent this offseason. The Bruins can extend a qualifying offer to keep him under team control through the 2019-20 campaign, but there’s also a chance Boston signs the 21-year-old defenseman to a long-term contract extension this summer.
So, what would a long-term deal for McAvoy look like? The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn shed some light on the topic in a piece published Wednesday.
Luszczyszyn used Evolving Hockey’s contract projection model — explained here — to determine how much money several restricted free agents could receive this offseason. The model suggests a six-year deal worth $7.3 million annually ($43.8 million total) for McAvoy.
Luszczyszyn seems to agree with that figure. Here’s what he wrote:
At a projected value of 2.2 wins, my model considers McAvoy to be an elite defenseman as one of the 15 best in hockey and the path to being top 10 or even top five isn’t out of reach considering the age of those ahead of him. He should reach top ten by 2020-21, and top five two years after that. Over the next seven seasons, only three other defenders are expected to provide more total value (Erik Karlsson, Kris Letang, and John Klingberg) and from 2024 onwards no other defensemen rates higher. He’s on track to be a very special player.
There’s likely some concern that playing with Zdeno Chara plays a role in all of that, but it’s worth noting that McAvoy’s numbers are stronger away from Chara (61 percent expected goal rate without him compared to 55 percent with).
McAvoy is the real deal, and all that means an expected cap hit north of $7 million based on Evolving Hockey’s contract projections, one that looks to be fair market value based on what he’s projected to bring to the table on the ice.
McAvoy has been excellent in two-plus seasons with the Bruins, emerging as one of the NHL’s bright young stars. It’s fair to assume he’ll be paid handsomely if the Bruins indeed lock him up to a long-term contract this offseason, especially since he’s just scratching the surface of his potential.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images