Parents, tell your children to learn defense.
Charlie McAvoy became the latest blueliner to watch a BRINKS truck roll up to his house on Friday morning, as the Boston Bruins agreed to terms with their star defender on an eight-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $9.5 million.
The deal, which ties McAvoy to Boston through the 2030-31 season, is set to kick in at the start of the 2022-23 campaign, as McAvoy has one year remaining on his current contract at $4.9 million.
It’s hard to watch a team commit to an elite, 23-year-old, right-shot defenceman for the better part of the next decade and not chalk it up as a win.
McAvoy is simply one of the best defenders in the game, more capable of driving play at both ends of the ice than practically any of his peers, and an absolute monster at even strength.
Picture what a coach would want out of their top defenceman in the modern NHL, and McAvoy does it — likely better than pretty much everyone. The 2016 first-rounder logged over 24 minutes of ice time per game last season, most of which came against top opposing competition. The next closest Bruin in that category was Mike Rielly, whose average nightly workload evened out to a smidge over 21 minutes. There just a little bit of a gap there.
Case in point: McAvoy is about as crucial to the Bruins’ success as one player can get.
Along with assuming his team’s toughest matchups, McAvoy also managed to score at above a 50-point pace over an 82-game season, quarterbacks both Boston’s top power play and penalty kill units, and has some of the best underlying numbers of any big-league rearguard.
Frankly, the most shocking part of this deal is how it makes others look in comparison. We are living in a world in which Seth Jones makes as much as McAvoy does for the exact same number of years. A fact like that can boggle the mind.
For Bruins fans, this is cause for joyous celebration.
As the team embarks into the choppy waters of transition brought about by their aging core, knowing that McAvoy will be holding down the blueline for the next nine years is sure to bring some comfort.