As the team’s focus shifts from a year that almost was to the upcoming season, the No. 1 priority for the organization should be locking up restricted free agent defencemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. However, as it stands right now, team President Cam Neely is bracing himself for the possibility of having neither deals done by training camp.
“We do have to plan and prepare for these players to not be at camp opening day,” the former Bruins star told NBC Sports Boston. “But we have five, six weeks hopefully to get something done. We feel like we should be able to get something done with both of those guys at numbers that make sense for us, and hopefully makes sense for them.”
Locking up McAvoy, who was rock solid for the club last postseason, is surely the most pressing issue. It will be fascinating to see what his contract ends up looking like, as while he has shown flashes of excellence, the Long Beach, NY., native has only played 117 games in two seasons.
“You look at a player that's had some health issues two years in a row at a young age,” Neely explained to NBC Sports Boston about McAvoy. “You look at that and say ‘Okay, is that going to stay the same or is it just bad luck?' We all can see what Charlie is capable of doing. You'd like to see a bigger sample size, obviously. Since the cap has come into effect we've all seen deals that have been signed where three years down the road you say it's not as good as you anticipated it would be.”
Boston currently has $7,294,167 in projected cap space, according to CapFriendly. The club would likely have to make some roster moves in order to clear up enough money to sign both of its RFA defencemen.
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