This is what Charlie McAvoy’s next contract could look like
The market for teams signing or adding senior defenders has grown significantly in the past off-season.
Nobody surpassed Erik Karlsson’s league-leading cap hit of $ 11.5 million among defenders. Hell, their new contracts didn’t even hit double digits. But a handful of these valuable raw materials achieved massive gains in the summer.
Zach Werenski of Columbus ($ 9.525 million AAV for eight years), Chicago’s Seth Jones ($ 9.5 million over eight years), and Edmonton’s Darnell Nurse ($ 9.25 million AAV over eight years) all signed Contract renewals starting in 2022-23. Cale Makar ($ 9 million AAV over six years) and Miro Heiskanen ($ 8.45 million AAV over eight years) re-signed with Avalanche and Stars, respectively, after their three-year entry-level contracts. And Dougie Hamilton signed a lucrative contract with the New Jersey Devils (AAV 9 million over seven years) on the first day of free agency.
The massive deals for top blueliner made some Bruins fans wonder what Charlie McAvoy’s next deal might look like. While praising his coworkers’ payday, McAvoy remained a mom on his contract situation during his first media session in the training camp.
“No, I only play hockey. That’s it, ”said the blueliner in the fifth year. “You see all these D-men, I’m very happy for them. I know some of them and I couldn’t be happier for them. They are all very well deserved. But I’m looking forward to this year, to the group we have. “
McAvoy knows his payday is coming. It could have happened sooner, but a tight wage cap forced GM Don Sweeney and McAvoy’s warehouse to agree on a three-year bridge contract worth $ 14.7 million in the 2019 off-season.
Brandon Carlo entered the same scenario as McAvoy this summer. Sweeney and Carlos Lager agreed on a two-year bridge deal for $ 5.7 million. Carlo received his long-term contract in July, signed for six years and an AAV of $ 4.1.
The Bruins could have a hair of over $ 20 million projected salary cap to work this off-season. Only five players from the projected main squad, including McAvoy (RFA), Jake DeBrusk (RFA), Jakub Zboril (RFA), Patrice Bergeron (UFA) and Curtis Lazar (UFA), will enter the campaign in the final year of the 2021-22 season a their respective contracts (via CapFriendly). Despite another off-season with a planned flat cap, the Bruins have positioned themselves well to close a new deal with McAvoy.
McAvoy’s evolution into a true top defender suits him well for a payday between $ 8 million and $ 10 million. Werenski, Heiskanen, and Heiskanen all serve as fair comparisons for McAvoy’s camp.
However, there is an interesting kink here with Sweeney’s track record of attracting notable core players to new business.
For example, the Bruins benefited from Sweeney’s negotiations with Brad Marchand (2016) and David Pastrnak (2017). The top wingers make a shadow of over $ 6.1 million and $ 6.66 million respectively. Both Marchand and Pastrnak came out of the first 30-goal campaigns of their careers before signing their new contracts.
McAvoy has not yet reached its prime. But the Sweeney and Boston front office can cite the Pastrnak and Marchand deals as examples of two talented players who opted for a stable, winning culture rather than redeeming its value. With Pastrnak slated for UFA status after the 2022-23 campaign and, to a lesser extent, Bergeron’s expiring contract, Sweeney will again have to maneuver around the future cap room in his talks with McAvoy.
Certainly McAvoy deserves to be near the highest paid defenders in the league. It remains to be seen whether this will become reality every time they meet. Still, everything indicates that McAvoy will step in as the highest-paid Bruin next season.
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