The Boston Bruins announced Sunday morning that the team has signed the Charlie McAvoy to a three year contract. The contract is worth an average of 4.9 million dollars per year.
A rather cheap deal. Or is it?
As noted here, most fans have been wanting this deal done for a while. Well, its finally done. Most fans look at this contract and say "Wow, the Bruins got a steal!". In some cases this is very true. In some, its not. The only downside to this contract is that it comes as a bridge contract. In a lot of cases a bridge contract means the team doesn't have enough faith in a player to lock him up long term. By giving him a bridge contract, the team gets the player at an amount that's most likely less than market value of the player. The player them he has time to prove himself and earn a long term deal with a higher average yearly salary. This isn't the case here.
The Bruins would have loved to sign Charlie McAvoy for eight years. But given the salary cap situation, this is the deal that works best for both sides. My thinking as to why Don Sweeney signs this contract is this: Once this deal does expire, the Bruins should be in a little bit better of a salary cap situation than they are now. With the contract of David Backes expiring after next season, they'll have $6 Million more per year just from his contract expiring alone. A bridge contract most likely means that Charlie McAvoy will want to sign a very big contract once this deal expires.
The 21 year old McAvoy will look to have a very strong three years as it will only boost his value. The back end of this three year deal is set to become a $7.3 Million qualifying offer. A 24 year old defenseman in his prime will surely be a hot commodity on the market. That $7.3 Million will be just the starting point of contract talks for Charlie's side.
Carlo extension coming soon?
One very important thing to note is that this leaves the Bruins with roughly $3 Million to extend Brandon Carlo. Probably more than expected in most cases, but because of the bridge contract the Bruins have options now. Do they do a bridge contract with Carlo now too? Do they move a guy like John Moore or Kevin Millar and try to get enough money to lock up Carlo long term? We'll find out soon enough. The main point is that with the signing of Charlie McAvoy, the Bruins top defensive line is back intact.