This past season the Boston Bruins battled injuries throughout the line-up. The defenseman were certainly no exception to that group. In fact, some of the worst injuries that the team suffered were among them; both Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy included.
During the 2018-2019 season, two young defensemen proved that when healthy, they can contribute to the team’s success. Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy were counted on in many situations during the regular season and playoffs and were among the reasons why the Boston Bruins came one win away from winning the Stanley Cup.
Both players contracts expired when the season ended. There are many reasons why Carlo and McAvoy need to be signed to long term deals despite limited money in the team’s salary cap space.
Brandon Carlo, who finished his third season with the Boston Bruins, had by far his best professional season this year. He scored two goals and added eight assists in the regular season. Carlo was unable to play in the 2017 and 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs due to late season injuries but was finally able to play on the big stage during this year’s playoffs.
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He scored two goals and added two assists in 24 playoff games. His statistics prove that he will never be a big goal scorer but his defensive skills and ability to play big minutes really showed throughout the season.
Charlie McAvoy plays a different game than Carlo does but his services benefit the Boston Bruins in the same way. He is more of a goal scorer and play-maker compared to most defensemen. He was sidelined with a concussion for most of the first half of the season but remained healthy for the rest of the season.
Obviously, with the research these days; concussions are a reason to be concerned about a player’s potential longevity, but when you look at Charlie McAvoy’s performances, you’re willing to overlook it somewhat – he could well be the long-term successor to Zdeno Chara. There’s every reason to expect he continues his trajectory towards being the franchise number-one defenseman, regardless of health concerns.
Both Carlo and McAvoy have mentioned that they want to continue playing for the Boston Bruins for the long-term. They also realise that they might be making less money compared to other players of similar skill level because of the salary cap.
If the players are willing to get it done and at a discounted rate, you have to wonder whether Boston Bruins General Manager, Don Sweeney is purely holding fire in the hope of moving other players out first?