Opinion: Do the Bruins Need To Insulate Charlie McAvoy?

Charlie McAvoy skating for the Boston Bruins against the Tampa Bay Lightning
Photo: Andrew Fielder | Inside The Rink

Since bursting onto the Boston Bruins roster during the 2016-17 playoffs, Charlie McAvoy has been regarded as the future building block for the B’s blue line. McAvoy averaged 30 points per season up until the 2020-21 season, where he blossomed into a 50-point-per-year defenseman. McAvoy has been stellar over the last three seasons…or has he?

Charlie McAvoy by the Stats

Charlie McAvoy’s rookie season was 2017-18, where he played 63 games with the Bruins, tallied 32 points and averaged 22 minutes of ice time. Since then, he has compiled a whopping 454 games played with 277 points, a +144 rating, and averaging 23:24 TOI.

Ranking Amongst Active NHL Defenseman

  • Points Per Game – 16th – 0.61 PPG
  • Plus/Minus – 2nd – +144
  • Power Play Goals – 21st – 12
  • Power Play Assists – 25th – 60
  • Hits – 7th – 822
  • Blocks – 14th – 802
  • Takeaways – 22nd – 193
  • Giveaways – 17th – 377 (this is a positive, golf rules)

Contract Comparables

Information via CapFriendly (June 2024)

Briefly covering the stats above here, McAvoy currently ranks 4th in Salary AAV among active defensemen and has only cracked the top 10 in 3 categories: Plus/Minus, Hits, and Giveaways. (giveaways having golf rules, he’s actually ranked 9th).

Charlie McAvoy Stats

If you take a deeper dive into the stats year by year, you can see Charlie McAvoy’s stats decline over the last couple of seasons. The real question is, what could cause that decline?

Getting McAvoy Back On Track

When Charlie McAvoy broke into the league, he played with one of the best defensive defensemen to ever take the ice, Zdeno Chara. This gave McAvoy a lot of ice to create plays and jump into the rush, knowing Chara would be there on the defensive end to take care of any mistakes.

Related Post: Two Boston Bruins’ Top Prospects to Play in World Junior Hockey Showcase

As the years have continued to tick by, McAvoy has seen the loss of outstanding defensive teammates in Chara and Bergeron, leaving him with more defensive responsibility. What seems obvious to me is that McAvoy has struggled as he continues to be relied on for heavier minutes and responsibilities. For an offensively gifted defenseman, being a defense-first player sometimes just doesn’t work.

As the Bruins have been building their blue line, offensively gifted defensemen have been at the forefront of Don Sweeney’s acquisitions. Starting with Hampus Lindholm and now the rumors are swirling about Jakob Chychrun and Shea Theodore being involved in Linus Ullmark trade discussions, but is that really what the Bruins need more of?

The Boston Bruins strength over the last two seasons has been superb defensive play and stellar goaltending from Jeremy Swayman and Linus Ullmark. Now that they’re looking to deal Linus Ullmark prior to the Swayman extension, is it time for the Bruins to change their priorities on the back end?

My Opinion

Charlie McAvoy hasn’t been the same since he took over as the head of the Bruins’ defensive core, Matt Grzelcyk riding shotgun on McAvoy’s pairing just isn’t the right fit. So what do the Bruins do to fix the problem and get McAvoy back on track?

The Boston Bruins should be going out on the Free Agent market to find a stay-at-home, shutdown-style defenseman to play with Charlie McAvoy.

Related Post: Boston Bruins Sign Depth Defenseman

With players like Chris Tanev and Ryan Lindgren on the UFA market, there are some options for the right fit. Both players have played on top pairings with extremely talented, offensive-minded teammates before; they’d feel right at home with McAvoy.

Is going out to sign Ryan Lindgren a sexier move than acquiring Jakob Chychrun or Shea Theodore? No, definitely not. However, the other side of that coin scares me the most…Charlie McAvoy is becoming the shutdown defender, and the Boston Bruins are paying a 30-40 point defenseman $9.5m per year. McAvoy paid as if he is one of the best defensemen in the NHL, and the sad fact right now is he is not.

I’ll leave you with the question that led to this article… Who is the worst contract on the Boston Bruins? If you don’t agree with my opinion, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the worst contract on the Bruins roster in the comments below.

Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline Bruins Benders Podcast

Matty and Smitty from the Bruins Benders Podcast cover the HOTTEST topics in the Boston Bruins market, along with… – Bruins Dev Camp Updates- Zadorov Comments & Number- Jeremy Swayman Arbitration- Brandon Carlo Trade Rumors& Much More!For more from us, visit: insidetherink.com/bruins-bendersBoston Bruins Trade Rumors, Boston Bruins News, Boston Bruins, 2024 NHL Free Agency, Elias Lindholm, Nikita Zadorov, Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Derek Forbort, Jeremy Swayman, Vancouver Canucks, Restricted Free Agent, Max Jones, Riley Tufte, Brandon Carlo, Matt RempeThank you for tuning in, we appreciate your support. If you'd like to support the show, please head over to our merch shop and grab some Bruins Benders merch with our new logo!Not interested in throwing money at another podcast? NO PROBLEMHit the subscribe button, like and follow us on social media, and leave a comment of your thoughts! IT IS FREE to interact with our show and it helps other people find us! And beginning in July, ITR is giving away an NHL Jersey of your choice from Fanatics. All you have to do to win is be a subscriber. DraftKings Sportsbook – Boston’s hometown Sportsbook is LIVE right here in Massachusetts! Bet local on all your favorite sports from the comfort of your own home with DraftKings. To celebrate, ALL new customers will receive up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets when you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook using code ITR! You can now bet local on money lines, spreads, props, and more with one of America’s top-rated Sportsbooks – DraftKings Sportsbook!  Download the DraftKings Sportsbook app and sign up with code ITR to get up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets to use now that mobile sports betting is live in Massachusetts. That’s code ITR only at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 800 327-5050 or visit helplineMA.org to speak with a trained specialist, free and confidentially, twenty four seven. 21+. Physically present in MA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. Opt in required. Bonus issued aree bets. Terms at draftkings.com/MA.
  1. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  2. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  3. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
  4. Season 3. Episode 45. After the Hugs Are Gone
  5. Season 3. Episode 44. Yay Or Nay

Connor Green

Managing Editor | Inside the Rink

One thought on “Opinion: Do the Bruins Need To Insulate Charlie McAvoy?”

  1. McAvoy is not a 9 million dollar defenseman. He plateaued in 20-21. He needs help, seriously. Lindholm has dropped off as well. Carlo has 7 documented concussions in his career as well. Lohrei will be fine but without a serious upgrade at least 2 defenseman who can play shut down minutes and get the puck out of the zone this team is going nowhere.

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