One of the key orders of business that Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney will be undertaking is a contract extension for defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
The 23 year old franchise defenseman is entering the final year of his three-year, $14.7 million contract that he signed in 2019. And he's set to cash in if the contracts signed by other defensemen are any indication. Just take a look at the likes of Columbus’s Zach Werenski, who agreed to a six-year extension worth $57.5 million this summer, as well as Dallas' Miro Heiskanen's eight-year, $67.6 million extension.
For team president Cam Neely, fans needn't worry about the potential of McAvoy donning another team's sweater at this point next year.
“We’re gonna hopefully get Charlie McAvoy done here shortly,” Neely said on a Zoom call with reporters earlier today. He later added: “Don and Evan have been working with Charlie’s camp the last couple days. My hopes are we’ll see something here in short order, but you never know until it’s signed on the dotted line.”
McAvoy enjoyed a breakout campaign last year, amassing 30 points in 61 games played and finishing 5th overall in the James Norris Memorial Trophy voting as the National Hockey League's best defenseman.
Of course, playing on a contending squad that also happens to be an Original 6 franchise certainly has its draws.
"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 packed house every night is something special.”
McAvoy himself declined to comment on his contract status earlier this year, taking the political approach and simply saying that he's looking forward to the upcoming year.
“Honestly, I don’t have any comment on it,” McAvoy explained while appearing at the Ray Bourque Foundation golf tournament in Stratham, N.H. in August. “I’m just really excited for the year, just worrying about this summer, being in the best spot to get ready for camp.
“I think we’re going to have a heck of a team. I can’t wait to meet the new guys. I just want to get after it.”