Bruins

Don Sweeney: Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy contract talks 'works in progress' with camp looming

Don Sweeney: Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy contract talks 'works in progress' with camp looming

The start of Bruins training camp is less than 24 hours away and the expectation is that both Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo won’t be there as unsigned restricted free agents.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney gave the best update he could on Wednesday afternoon while discussing Bruce Cassidy’s contract extension, and it didn’t amount to much of an update at all.

“Still works in progress. We continue to communicate every day and we remain hopeful that we can find the landing spot for both players,” said Sweeney. “Obviously they’re important to our hockey club and we’re going to continue working at it.”

Certainly, as mentioned earlier this week, the three-year, $15 million bridge deal for Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski is going to make an impact on negotiations with the 21-year-old McAvoy. One could very easily envision McAvoy signing the same kind of bridge deal if both sides can’t find common ground on a long term contract, and if the clock begins ticking on the regular season for one of Boston’s most important players.

It shouldn’t be nearly as difficult for Carlo, who should be in line for something in the neighborhood of $3-4 million per season on a three-year contract based on comparable RFAs around the league.

Sweeney also mentioned earlier this week at the Bruins rookie camp that he’s not interested in signing his RFA’s to contracts that will take them directly to free agency, so that leaves a window for the kind of term that the B’s/McAvoy would be looking at for a contract.

Basically the Bruins won’t be offering Carlo a four-year deal, and they won’t be offering McAvoy any five-year contract offers. Either they are going to retain some of their restricted free agent seasons for another negotiation down the line after a bridge deal, or they are going to move longer-term with a pair of bona fide top-4 defensemen.

As of right now, however, the Bruins are without their future No. 1 D-man in McAvoy after he played brilliantly during the Stanley Cup playoffs, and they are without their top young shutdown D-man in Carlo with camp set to begin. Both are young players that could still benefit greatly from training camp leading into the regular season, but their head coach doesn’t want that to become a distraction for the team as they ready for the new season.

“It’s a hypothetical now and I’ll be able to answer it a little better once we get going,” said Cassidy. “But at the end of the day as a coach you coach the guys that are there. That’s the business side of it. I hope they both do well and get what they deserve, and after that we’ll get them ready to go. I think any coach will tell you that they don’t want guys to miss [training camp time]. You want your team and you want your guys that you’ll be working with.

“But if they’re not there then guys like [Connor] Clifton and maybe [Urho] Vaakanainen – guys that play the right side – will get a better look.”

Training camp will begin for the Bruins on Thursday morning with the first preseason games to get going pretty quickly next week with the B’s playing a short six-game exhibition schedule following their short summer break.

Bruce Cassidy signs a multi-year extension with Bruins>>>

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 3-2 shootout loss to the Capitals

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Talking Points from the Bruins' 3-2 shootout loss to the Capitals

Talking points from Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Capitals at TD Garden . . . 

GOLD STAR: The Bruins wouldn’t have even received a point in Saturday night’s game if it weren’t for the efforts of Jaroslav Halak. The B’s netminder stopped 42 shots and was brilliant from beginning to end against a Capitals team that outshot Boston nearly 2-to-1 through the course of the entire game. He stopped 17-of-18 in the first period when the Bruins didn’t have their legs under them, and would have stolen the game for Boston if Zdeno Chara could have cleared the zone ahead of T.J. Oshie’s game-tying in the final minute of the third period. He was just as good in the shootout, with diving stops that kept the Bruins in the extra session, and certainly deserved a better fate at the end of the day.

🏒 HIGHLIGHTS FROM BRUINS' 3-2 LOSS TO CAPITALS

BLACK EYE: It’s time for Bruce Cassidy to stop over-thinking the shootout. He tried to use Chris Wagner based on a pretty good breakaway move he’s showed at times, and the thinking there was that perhaps an outside-the-box choice work create a shootout spark for the Bruins. Well, it has not, and instead Charlie Coyle is the only player that’s had success in the shootout this season for the Bruins, who are now 0-for-4 in shootout games. They need to go with a much more straight-ahead shootout philosophy, where they just get their best offensive guys out there quickly. That means having Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak as two of your top three guys to start, and perhaps featuring Coyle more now that he’s enjoyed some success. One thing is certain: They need to do something differently, because whatever they’re doing right now isn’t working.

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were hanging on by a thread while protecting the one-goal lead in the third period, and were outshot by an 11-6 margin by Washington while they put a ton of pressure on the Boston defense. Jaroslav Halak was up to the challenge for most of the period and the Bruins had a couple of chances to extend the lead, including a David Krejci redirect that went through Braden Holtby’s pads and trickled past the net, but the undermanned Bruins simply ran out of gas when it came to holding their slim lead. With the Bruins missing their best defender in Patrice Bergeron due to injury, T.J. Oshie scored the game-tying goal with a little less than a minute left to play with Sean Kuraly out on the ice with Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. That’s not the ideal shutdown forward crew for the Bruins and it came back to bite them in the end.  

HONORABLE MENTION: David Pastrnak was one of the few Bruins playing with some energy throughout the game, and he scored what looked like was going to be the winning goal a few minutes into the second period. Pastrnak had a monster shift where he kicked things off for David Krejci and Charlie McAvoy to connect for a scoring chance, but McAvoy missed the open net with a one-timer shot from the slot. Pastrnak alertly picked up the puck and fired a bad angle shot for his 17th goal of the season. He was a key piece of offense with the Bruins missing so much of their firepower between Bergeron, Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk. Pastrnak finished with the goal, 10 shot attempts and a couple of takeaways in 22:58 of ice time for the Black and Gold.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0-for-4 – The Bruins’ record in the shootout this season. They continue to lose vital points in the glorified skills challenge, with only Coyle seemingly enjoying any success.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “He was our best player by far. [It’s] disappointing that we couldn’t finish it because I thought our third period, we really bought into what we needed to compared to the Florida game, for example. We didn’t give up much at all [at the end of the game].” –Bruce Cassidy, on Halak and the improved third period for the Bruins, compared to their collapse against the Panthers a few days ago.

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NHL Highlights: Bruins surrender late lead vs. Capitals, lose 3-2 in shootout

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NHL Highlights: Bruins surrender late lead vs. Capitals, lose 3-2 in shootout

FINAL SCORE: Capitals 3, Bruins 2 (SO)

IN BRIEF: Just when it looked like the Bruins were going to hold on, despite being outshot by a nearly 2-to-1 margin losing another important piece in Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins surrendered a game-tying goal in the last minute of regulation from the Capitals' T.J. Oshie. Braeden Holtby denied Chris Wagner's five-hole attempt in the fifth round of the shootout to steal an 11th-hour comeback win.

BOX SCORE

BRUINS RECORD: 12-3-5 (28 points)

HIGHLIGHTS

COYLE PUTS HOME A BEAUTIFUL HEINEN FEED

PASTRNAK STICKS WITH IT, MAKES IT 2-1

UP NEXT: at New Jersey, 7 p.m., NESN

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