Brandon Carlo

Don Sweeney says Brandon Carlo is 'really important' to Bruins' success

Don Sweeney says Brandon Carlo is 'really important' to Bruins' success

Brandon Carlo is a huge part of the Boston Bruins' success, and general manager Don Sweeney couldn't express that enough Tuesday.

Carlo signed a two-year contract with the Bruins on Tuesday morning worth $2.85 million per season and Sweeney said he couldn't have been happier. 

"It's a really, really important day for us. [Brandon is a] big, big part of our club," said Sweeney according to BostonBruins.com's Eric Russo. "As I referenced with Charlie the other day, really important [pieces] of what we accomplished last year, what we hope to accomplish this year, and many, many years going forward."

He added: "Brandon is going to be a part of the Boston Bruins and I indicated that while we were going through negotiations, to him and to everybody else. I'm very excited to have him back in the fold."

At just 22, Carlo is maturing into one of the best young defensive-defensemen in the NHL, and naturally, Sweeney recognizes that. 

"I said this to Brandon this morning - from a leadership standpoint, he's able to now feel comfortable in his own skin to take the next young player and realize this is how we do things," said Sweeney. "And I think he wants that. So, for me, I don't think you can put a ceiling on what he's capable of doing."

Carlo has managed to flourish paired alongside Torey Krug and develop specific skills in order to benefit the Bruins.

"But he also has to live to his own ideals of what he does really well," Sweeney said. "And obviously, shutting down and taking responsibility to end games, to close out games, to protect teammates, to block shots, to do the things that other players might not be willing to do, he does really well."

Carlo will have a lot more responsibility on his shoulders come the start of the regular season, but he should be able to handle it just fine as he's improved each season since joining Boston in 2016.

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Brandon Carlo contract locks things up for the Bruins' back end

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Brandon Carlo contract locks things up for the Bruins' back end

What was once a competitive-looking training camp for Bruins defensemen now becomes a lot less uncertain after the last 48 hours.

Both Charlie McAvoy (three years at $4.9 million per season) and Brandon Carlo (two years at $2.85 million per season) are now signed for the next few years with the Bruins still shimmying under the salary cap ceiling.

While some may see Carlo’s deal as a big-time bargain, the comparable contracts to him (Darnell Nurse at $3.2 million per season and Josh Morrissey at $3.15 million per season both on two-year deals) made this two-year deal a fait accompli once the Bruins had something in place with the 21-year-old McAvoy.

On its face, this means that Don Sweeney has managed to do what many thought would be much more difficult this summer: Fitting Carlo and McAvoy under the cap without moving any big contracts to make room for all the returning players. It also means the Bruins can move on to negotiations with Torey Krug, who will be looking for a substantial raise from the final year of a deal that’s paying him $5.25 million per season.

From a practical standpoint on the ice, the Bruins now have a deep, multi-faceted defensemen corps that doesn’t leave any room on the NHL roster for youngsters like Jakub Zboril or Urho Vaakanainen, or potential veteran tryout campers like Florida’s Alex Petrovic. Most teams would be in a tough spot with veteran D-men like Kevan Miller (fractured kneecap) and John Moore (shoulder surgery) out for at least the first month of the season, but the Bruins will be coming back with the entire group that was playing as they made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

Here’s how the pairings are likely to look to start the season:

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Clifton

 

Certainly it would appear that Steve Kampfer is the only player with competition for the seventh D-men spot to start the season. Otherwise, the writing is on the wall with camp only a couple of days old and any possible drama erased with both McAvoy and Carlo inking new deals over the last few days.

The only point of interest at this point for Boston’s back-enders? It remains to be seen just how good McAvoy and Carlo can be over the next couple of seasons after signing fair, market contracts that may be less than many expected.

If McAvoy turns into the No. 1 defenseman he’s tracking toward and Carlo can build some offense to go with his shutdown skills, the Bruins are going to be paying much, much more for these players the next time at the negotiating table. But then again many of the current high-priced Bruins players will be off the roster at that point, and the Bruins will gladly pay for younger players that outperform their shiny, brand new deals.

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Bruins sign Brandon Carlo to two-year contract with $2.85M AAV

Bruins sign Brandon Carlo to two-year contract with $2.85M AAV

The Boston Bruins have finally finished their business in restricted free agency.

The Bruins have signed defenseman Brandon Carlo to a two-year contract with an annual cap hit of $2.85 million ($5.7 million total), the team announced Tuesday.

Carlo's deal comes just two days after Boston locked up fellow restricted free agent Charlie McAvoy on a three-year contract with a $4.9 million average annual value.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said earlier this week the team had enough cap space to sign Carlo, and it appears he was correct. The B's now have no more restricted free agents left unsigned, meaning their roster is set one day following Monday's preseason opener against the New Jersey Devils.

Carlo is a solid foundational piece on Boston's blue line, with 230 NHL games under his belt at age 22. The 2015 second-round draft pick tallied 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in 72 games last season, and his plus-22 rating was tied for second-best on the team behind Zdeno Chara.

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