The Bruins have reached agreements with Chris Wagner and Charlie Coyle on long-term extensions. Both of their contracts were set to expire at the end of the 2019-2020 season.
Coyle, 27, signed a 6 year, 31.5 million dollar extension [5.25 million average annual value (AAV)] which will keep him with the Bruins through the end of the 2025-26 season. The Weymouth-born center and Boston University Terrier, who has extensive ties in the New England region, especially in the hockey community, will remain in Boston for the next 7 years, and he is a welcome asset. The forward, acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wild at last year’s trade deadline in exchange for former Harvard winger Ryan Donato, has 14 points in 24 games, as well as 5 goals, on pace for roughly 47 points with 17 goals. He is very durable as well, and has made great strides on the power play and in 5 on 5 after a very strong postseason. The cap hit spells a little problem later on when the Bruins have to pay Torey Krug at the end of the season, but that problem is yet to hit. Overall, this deal is a solid one for the Boston Bruins, keeping a solid, versatile forward on the team for the foreseeable future.
Wagner, 28, signed a 3 year, 4.05 million dollar contract to keep him in Boston through the 2022-23 season. The Walpole native, affectionately dubbed “The Mayor of Walpole” by the Bruins fandom had the best year of his NHL career in 2018-19, scoring 12 goals and adding 7 assists, while providing a grit that has proved endearing to Bruins fans. Notably, Wagner blocked a shot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals which ended up being the end of his season, and the Bruins won that game against the Carolina Hurricanes 1-0, with his blocked shot being one of the reasons the Bruins were able to sweep the Hurricanes. The winger was a journeyman for the majority of his NHL career, spending time in Anaheim, New York (Islanders), and Colorado before signing as a free agent with the Bruins. This is a team-friendly contract, and a key cog on the Bruins’ strong fourth line will spend the next few years in the black and gold.
Don Sweeney continues to manage the cap space incredibly well. A similar player to Coyle, Kevin Hayes, fetched 7 years and 50 million for an AAV of 7.14 million from the Philadelphia Flyers, and Coyle’s deal looks like a bargain when compared to most other forwards of his skill level and production. The forward has always underperformed what people perceive his potential to be, but this is still a good contract for both the Bruins and Coyle. Plus, retaining Wagner at such a low cap hit is remarkable. We can only wait and see what he comes up with in regards to the contract situations of Torey Krug and David Backes this upcoming trade deadline and offseason.
Photo Credits: (Michael Dwyer – AP Photo)