Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney took care of some business on Wednesday with a pair of new contracts.
Rather than let both players test free agency this summer, the Bruins re-signed Charlie Coyle and Chris Wagner to extensions.
Right away, these appear to be reasonable, even team-friendly deals for the Bruins.
Charlie Coyle’s contract is reasonable based on comps
This year, Coyle followed up his strong playoffs with an above-average start to the season. He has 14 points in 24 games for Boston, solid numbers for a third-line center.
Coyle also proved his versatility. He played on the right wing at times, and he moved up to the top-six because of injuries. He’s done well in every role.
Based on his play this season, Coyle looks well-worth the $5.25 million cap hit that will kick in next year. At only 27, he could very well be good for 15-20 goals and 35-40 assists for the next six years.
Compare Coyle’s contract to the one Kevin Hayes signed with Philadelphia last season, and it certainly looks like a steal.
Hayes and Coyle both are big-bodies who put up 40 to 50 points per season. They are the same age as well. Hayes will make $7 million until 2026; Coyle will make $5.25 million until then.
One can argue that Hayes has been more consistent than Coyle, but that said, he’s not worth that much more money. Advantage Bruins with the Coyle contract.
Wagner’s deal is fair for a fourth-liner
Now on to Wagner’s extension. Wagner initially signed with the Bruins two years ago without much fanfare. He was nothing more than a fourth-liner who may or may not make the team.
He definitely outperformed his contract last season, much to the surprise of Bruins fans and probably management. Wagner scored 12 goals in a fourth-line role last year. Before that, he never scored more than seven in a season.
His production fell off a bit this season, but he still outperforms some fourth-line players. Wagner has five points, which puts him on pace for around 20 this season. That’s fine for someone in his role.
Wagner also brings a physical element to the team. He had 247 hits last year, and this year he already has 50. Hits aren’t a big stat by any means, but his physicality can still make a difference.
No matter what Wagner brings, $1.35 million is a fair deal for a fourth-line player. Even if his offense falls off, his cap hit won’t be a detriment.
At the end of the day, Sweeney did well with the Coyle and Wagner extensions. Honestly, when news broke earlier that these extensions were close, there was some fear that the Bruins would spend too much.
Some thought Boston would pay Coyle more like a top-six center and Wagner like a third-line winger. The Bruins, however, signed the two hometown players to hometown discounts.
Torey Krug, you’re up next!