Bruins

‘I’m just so overjoyed today’: A closer look at Charlie McAvoy’s contract extension

"My life is here in Boston."

Charlie McAvoy skates against the Washington Capitals. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

COMMENTARY

The richest contract in Boston Bruins history belongs to Charlie McAvoy.

“I’m just so overjoyed today,” McAvoy said to the media following Friday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena. “I couldn’t be happier.”

As first reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN, the Bruins and McAvoy agreed to terms on an eight-year, $76 million contract extension on the eve of their season opener. The $9.5 million AAV includes a $3.25 million signing bonus for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons; a $3 million signing bonus for the 2024-25, 2025-26, 2028-29 and 2029-30 seasons; and a $4 million signing bonus for the 2026-27 and 2027-28 campaigns.

According to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, the new deal includes a no-movement clause — from 2025-28.

McAvoy (24 goals, 98 assists in 235 career games) ascended into one of the league’s premier two-way defensemen over his first four seasons. It was only a matter of time before the 23-year-old cashed in on a big payday, as notable comparables like Seth Jones, Zach Werenski, Cale Makar, and Miro Heiskanen signed lucrative contract extensions this offseason.

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Indeed, general manager Don Sweeney and the Bruins made a significant investment with McAvoy. They’ll enter a similar negotiation when David Pastrnak’s contract — worth $6.6 million per season — expires at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

Even with another season of a flat salary cap ahead, signing McAvoy for under $10 million is quite remarkable from the front office’s standpoint. The Bruins will have a little over $12 million in projected cap space with five pending free agents from the opening night roster — UFAs Patrice Bergeron and Anton Blidh and RFAs Jake DeBrusk, Karson Kuhlman, and Jakub Zboril — for the 2022-23 campaign. But certainly, the new McAvoy contract provides a victory for both parties.

“Obviously, Donny [Sweeney] identified a key guy to this team that he wanted to lock up long term. And he’s part of the core now and [he will be] going forward,” head coach Bruce Cassidy told the press. “For a coach, it’s great. [McAvoy] does everything well for us. He works hard. He’s trying to get better and he wants to become more of a leader, which probably helps him in that department. I think everyone likes security, and to know that he has it will be a piece of mind for him.”

The Long Beach, New York native, has called Boston home since enrolling as a freshman at Boston University for the 2015-16 season. The Bruins signed their 14th overall selection from 2016 to an entry-level contract following McAvoy’s sophomore season.

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McAvoy signed a three-year bridge deal following the 2018-19 campaign, but he never envisioned playing anywhere else. His comfort level with the organization and the city has more long-term benefits following the new deal.

“That was my goal and my vision,” he said. “My life is here in Boston. I moved here full-time. I’m here in the summer. I have my routines and it’s here year-round barring going to see my family [on Long Island] on some weekends. But I live here and I love it here. I love the city, the people, the fans — everything. It’s home for me and that’s where I felt like I belong and wanted to be. So, like I said, it’s just a dream come true.”

Surely McAvoy has bigger dreams in mind. He’ll likely find himself in the Norris Trophy discussion for the next several seasons. But his biggest goal for the next decade doesn’t center around individual hardware, but rather hoisting a Stanley Cup after coming so close to achieving that dream in 2019.

“Just the championship pedigree of Boston is something I’ve been so appreciative of, and the team that’s been fielded here ever since I’ve been here…every year we’ve been competitive,” McAvoy added. “So all I’ve known is a championship expectation, which I’m so thankful for. That’s where you want to be. That’s the dream is to win and to have a chance every year and look across at everyone in the room and say ‘we feel like we can do it.’ You know, that’s so special, and I feel like that’s the culture and the expectation here. And that’s what you want to be a part of.”

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