By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Don Sweeney and the Bruins have done just about everything on their summer to-d0 except sign restricted free agent defensemen Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy to new contracts.
But Sweeney did provide an update of sorts when speaking with BostonBruins.com's Michael Tolvo on Thursday.
“Not as fast as everybody would like,” Sweeney said when asked about the progress in the team's ongoing contract talks with Carlo and McAvoy. “But that’s just the nature of the business and every negotiation has its own timeline."
“You realize the pride of our fan base, we’re fortunate. It’s a New England outreach and we’re just happy to be a part of the day.”
????Bruins GM Don Sweeney goes one-on-one to discuss the short summer, the ongoing negotiations and being at Day 4 of Fan Fest: pic.twitter.com/UeubIcJ2g5
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 22, 2019
The lack of progress is not unique to the Bruins; Toronto's Mitch Marner remains unsigned, and same for the Jets' Patrik Laine, Colorado's Mikko Rantanen, and Bolts center Brayden Point among several others. On the defensive side of things, Philadelphia's Ivan Provorov remains without a contract, as does the Blue Jackets' Zach Werenski.
There's been almost no progress throughout the entire league when it comes to these upper-echelon RFAs, as everybody else is looking for the other agent, other GM, and other player to set the market value on each player.
The Bruins are also in a somewhat tough spot to re-up both as currently constituted, with just over $8 million in available cap space.
The Bruins could open up some temporary cap space to begin 2019-20 if they put Kevan Miller and John Moore on the long-term injured reserve, but unless their injuries are career-ending (they're not), their eventual return to action would force the Bruins to make a move upon their return should the B's bank on that cap space. There's also the fact that you can't place those players on the LTIR until the first day of the regular season, which only further complicates the cap maneuvering the Bruins would have to go through to move ahead with that "solution."
In other words, the B's are likely going to have to move somebody out to fit Carlo and McAvoy in at their new numbers.
But Sweeney remains (supremely) confident that they will get something done with both defenders.
"We’ll find a finish line at some point and time, Brandon and Charlie will be a part of our organization for a long time," Sweeney offered. "We think really highly of them as players on and off the ice.
"We just have to find a common ground and we’re working to get there.”