Charlie McAvoy is entering the third and final year of his three-year bridge contract with the Boston Bruins, but it sounds as if there is an extension coming in the near future.
The Bruins defenseman has close ties to Boston, having gone to Boston University before joining the Black and Gold in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Ottawa Senators in 2017. McAvoy also has become a staple on the Bruins’ blueline, especially since Zdeno Chara left the organization.
There are some players who will be in need of new contracts soon, but team president Cam Neely revealed Wednesday there have been ongoing talks between McAvoy and the Bruins of late.
“We’re gonna hopefully get Charlie McAvoy done here shortly. (General manager) Don (Sweeney) and (assistant general manager) Evan (Gold) have been working with Charlie’s camp the last couple of days,” Neely said over Zoom. “So, my hopes are we’ll see something here in short order. But you never know until it’s signed on the dotted line.”
Neely didn’t give specifics about term, but he did indicate he has no reason to believe McAvoy won’t want to finish his career with the Bruins.
“I haven’t heard any indication that Charlie wouldn’t want to play here for his whole career,” Neely said. “That’s what we’re looking towards, and hopefully we can get something done that gives him an opportunity to do just that. We’ll see where it goes. But I think Charlie’s embraced Boston. He went to college here. I think he likes the city, loves the sports environment, loves our fanbase, playing in front of a full house every night.”
That certainly should be music to Bruins fans’ ears.
Sweeney also didn’t offer a whole lot of specifics regarding McAvoy’s potential deal, but the Bruins clearly are hopeful to get something done soon.
“We’d like to have Charlie signed. That goes without saying,” Sweeney said. “There’s nothing imminent, but we’re hopeful. We’d like to have Charlie as a member of the organization for a long period of time.”
Of course, the question is just how much will McAvoy make? The market for defenseman has been hot all summer, with blueliners getting locked up for six to eight years with deals ranging from $6 million to $9.25 million annually.
Neely knows what the market has looked like, but it’s not about “winning” anything. It’s about making sure “both sides are very happy.”
“Well, for us, the marketplace at times gets set during the free agent period, which could be a little over-inflated, as we’ve all seen in free agency. That’s just the nature of the business,” Neely said. “I think in the past, we’ve been very fair and honest with our players when we negotiate with them. It’s not about trying to win anything. It’s about trying to land in the right spot where both sides are very happy, and that’s what we hope to do with Charlie.”
Nothing is official until all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed, but things seemingly are moving in the right direction to keep McAvoy around.