With the idea of the NHL lock out coming closer and closer, the Boston Bruins are still focusing on having a season and maintaining contracts with the current team.
Today it was announced that forward Brad Marchand has been signed to a four-year contract extension through the 2016-2017 season. His contract will be worth an average of $4.5 million annually, $18million all together. This deal makes Marchand the fourth highest paid player on the team, behind guys like Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron. While it may seem like a lot of money, Marchand has accomplished a lot in the past two seasons wearing his black and gold sweater.
The 5′ 9″ little ball of hate has managed to be among the teams top scorers in both seasons, contributing 49 goals and 48 assists combined, setting a career high of 28 goals last season. While he has a major influence on the ice in scoring goals, he has also provided the Bruins with some hefty penalty minutes as well with 138 minutes spent in the box. We also can’t forget his greatest contribution of helping the team win the Stanley Cup in 2011 by sealing the fourth and final goal of Game 7.
“It’s always nice when you sign players, but it’s nice when you sign a player like Brad, who has worked his way up through and played the way we enjoy watching. He has an in-your-face game, he sacrifices his body and he’s really coming into his own as an offensive player,” Chiarelli told the Herald’s Steve Conroy.
Along with Marchand big names like Milan Lucic, Tuukka Rask and Tyler Seguin are also looking to be locked up this season, as they are RFA’s come July, while Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference will be considered unrestricted.
Sticking to his game plan, Chiarelli has continued to lock up his core players that he had during the Cup run, and given recent events, we can assume that this pattern will continue. With a market already being set for Seguin with Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner signing contracts averaging the $6million mark per season, we can assume he will get somewhere along those lines.
While the current CBA negotiations try to hinder GM signings, Chiarelli is still jumping at the chance to sign his core.
“I can’t ignore (the labor situation) and I’m trying not to. We’re trying to lock up core guys, we;re trying to lock up the critical mass of our team (but) I’ve told the guys ‘Look, if the system changes dramatically and I have to shuffle pieces around, I have to do that.’ That’s part of the business and, when we’re signing guys, they’re okay with that.”(via Boston Herald)