RFA's Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy are still not re-signed by the Boston Bruins. Where do things stand?
The big picture
The Bruins currently have around $8 Million in cap space. Based on the current market for young stud defenseman, that should barely be enough to sign one of Carlo or McAvoy. Unless one or both of them are willing to sign a short term bridge deal, somebody has to go. Both have been rumored to be interested in a bridge deal. The only issue with a bridge deal is that both sides still want the same thing come time to talk about the next deal. Given the youth of Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, they both want to hit the jackpot with these extensions. That's money that the Bruins simply don't have right now.
One thing that the Bruins do have is depth on the blueline. Not that this makes Don Sweeney willing to lose McAvoy or Carlo, but it makes thing easier on his end to not shell out a crazy amount of money.
Whos more valuable?
Given that he's one year younger and has more goals, assists and total points, in one less season of play, I'm willing to bet Don Sweeney values Charlie McAvoy just a little bit more than Brandon Carlo. Charlie is more of your modern day hybrid type of defender. A guy who could slot in at a wing in an emergency situation. He' very easily classified as an "Offensive-Defenseman". Brandon Carlo is more of your traditional old time hockey defenseman. He's more likely to lay a hit, he's also more likely to block a shot. He's your old school "Defensive-Defenseman'.
One huge thing that Charlie McAvoy brings to the table that Brandon Carlo doesn't is power play ability. Charlie McAvoy was leading the Bruins power play at the age of 20. When your team is on the power play, you want to score. Charlie on the blue line only increases the chances of a successful powerplay. Brandon Carlo can play the powerplay put he doesn't provide nearly as much of a scoring threat that McAvoy does.
Why no deal yet?
Bruins GM Don Sweeney provided a little bit of a contract update on Thursday. He said that this is just the typical contract negotiation. Both sides have a lot of mutual interest, but they just haven't found a sealing point quite yet. "Every negotiation has its own timeline." is how Don Sweeney said it. I think that's a very fair and honest answer from him. He even openly admitted that talks are not going as fast as people would like. That being said, its simply business.
Reason to worry?
Perhaps there's always reason to worry when it comes to money. As stated before, both Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy are young, stud defenseman. That doesn't come cheap nowadays in the NHL. Especially given the other young defenseman who have signed contract extensions this offseason. Jacob Trouba, for example, signed a seven year deal with the New York Rangers for an average of $8 Million per season. Although there aren't too many obvious similarities, both Trouba and McAvoy are right shot defenseman. Charlies final contract is most likely going to be right around that same amount.
While negotiations continue, make no mistake about it. The Boston Bruins want Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo to be Bruins for a long time. The same goes for Carlo and McAvoy wanting to be Bruins. But with the Bruins current cap space, something will have to give in order for both Carlo and McAvoy to be signed long term barring something very surprising.
Credit to https://flipboard.com/topic/brandoncarlo for the cover photo