Defenseman Charlie McAvoy, absent from the first three days of Bruins training camp, signed a contract extension Sunday, the team confirmed.
Bob McKenzie of TSN broke the news Sunday morning of the three-year deal that has an annual NHL salary cap hit of $4.9 million.
It is a similar deal to that signed last weekend by Zach Werenski, the stud Blue Jackets defenseman, for three years/$15 million.
“McAvoy’s stated preference all along was to do a long-term deal with BOS,’’ tweeted McKenzie, “but the expectation is this deal, when finalized, is more likely to be three years, somewhat similar to the Zach Werenski contract in CBJ.’’
The sweetener in the deal for Werenski, who also was a restricted free agent like McAvoy, is that he will earn $7 million in the third year of the deal, following payouts of $4 million each of these next two seasons. After earning $7 million in 2021-’22, Werenski will hit the RFA market again, but with that $7 million figure providing him with a robust starting price to negotiate his next deal—one likely that will have the Blue Jackets aiming and willing to buy into the pricier years of his potential unrestricted free agency years.
McAvoy, if he were to agree to a similar structure, would be similarly positioned as a RFA in the off-season of ’21-’22. The former BU standout in the spring of 2017, just as the playoffs approached, agreed to a three-year pact that paid out a total of some $3.8 million. On average, he will have better than trebled his pay rate if his new pacts are at three-years/$15 million.
Brandon Carlo, another of the club’s standout RFA blueliners, also has yet to agree to terms. His game not as robust as McAvoy’s, he’s like to earn more in a range of $3 million to $3.5 million, particularly now if McAvoy’s price lands at the average of $5m per season.
The Bruins open their exhibition season Monday night in Newark against the Devils. If one or both defenseman have signed, coach Bruce Cassidy likely would be reluctant to use either of them this soon for game duty.