The Boston Bruins have signed defender Charlie McAvoy to an eight-year contract extension worth $76 million. The deal carries an annual cap hit of $9.5 million and has a full no-movement clause from July 1, 2025 through May 31, 2028, per Frank Seravalli. Following the no-movement clause ending, McAvoy will also have a 10-team “yes” trade list for the 2028-29 season, and then a 10-team “no” trade list for the 2029-30 season.
A full breakdown of the contract looks like this:
- 22-23: $6 million + $3.25 million signing bonus
- 23-24: $7.75 million + 3.25 million signing bonus
- 24-25: $8.5 million + $3 million signing bonus
- 25-26: $8.5 million + $3 million signing bonus (Full NMC)
- 26-27: $6 million + $4 million signing bonus (Full NMC)
- 27-28: $3.75 million + $4 million signing bonus (Full NMC)
- 28-29: $4.5 million + $3 million signing bonus (10-team NTC)
- 29-30: $4.5 million + $3 million signing bonus (10-team NTC)
The deal will pay him over $50 million in the first five years and will keep him under contract through the age of 32.
At the time of the signing, this extension makes a lot of sense for both sides. McAvoy has been one of the best defenders in the NHL over the past few seasons and only projects to get better over the course of his career. Though a lack of power-play production (mostly due to the lack of opportunity early in his career) has caused McAvoy to become a little underrated around the league, the Bruins knew the production he gives them nightly was too much to pass on.
From an analytical standpoint, McAvoy is near the top of the pack as both an offensive and defensive play-driver and can absolutely eat minutes when necessary, especially once the playoffs kick-off. This isn’t a new development that the Bruins have eased him into, either. When he first debuted with the Bruins during the 2016-17 postseason, fresh out of college, McAvoy would average 26:12 through six games and immediately looked like he could be a superstar player.
Over the course of his career, McAvoy has averaged 22:51 of ice-time in the regular season and 25:04 of ice-time in the postseason.
For McAvoy, this contract lines up well with some of his peers around the league who signed gigantic contracts to tie them to their teams for the foreseeable future as well. Included in this list would be Seth Jones (eight years, $76 million), Cale Makar (six years, $54 million), Dougie Hamilton (seven years, $63 million), Zachary Werenski (six years, $57.5 million), Miro Heiskanen (eight years, $67.6 million), with all of these contracts being signed this season.
In the past, the Bruins have gotten some of their star players locked up to team-friendly contract extensions. This has set them up to be in a position to sign McAvoy to a deal like this, though it also could look relatively team-friendly given what McAvoy provides to the team.
McAvoy certainly stands near the top of the NHL in terms of talent and is being rightfully compensated as such, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any risk assumed in this deal for the Bruins.
Health Concerns Long-Term for McAvoy
Over the course of his young career, McAvoy has already experienced some fairly significant injuries that could raise some red flags. Dating back to 2018, McAvoy has already experienced an MCL injury, had a procedure to fix an abnormal heart rhythm, concussion trouble and more.
Though McAvoy has always bounced back from these injuries and seems to be healthy heading into the 2021-22 season, there’s still some concern here as he’s yet to stay healthy for a full season. It isn’t like this is an unknown issue for the Bruins, though, and the decision to take the ‘risk’ on him was likely an easy one to make given how excellent he’s been for them since joining the team in 2016.
There are always going to be risks associated with long-term deals. Signing good players to long-term deals, however, is typically a good business practice when teams are looking to be competitive. Some red flags may be there, but McAvoy is as good a player as it gets in the NHL and this deal still looks like a good one. Both McAvoy and the Bruins will obviously be hoping the injury concerns are securely in the rear-view mirror and this new eight-year deal can kick off the prime years of McAvoy’s career.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.