Boston Bruins have continued to tie their star names to new contracts after handing a new deal to Brad Marchand.
General manager Peter Chiarelli, who recently signed first-round draft pick Malcolm Subban, has finalised a four-year contract extension with Marchand that will pay the 24-year-old $4.5million annually, starting in the 2013-14 NHL schedule.
Marchand, who would have been a restricted free agent next summer, has one more year on his existing contract that will pay him $3million.
Chiarelli said. “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 OK with that.
“There are some guys that may have to wait and some we may sign. We’re trying our best to maintain the core of this team and make it good for a long time.”
Two seasons ago, Marchand started as a rookie on the fourth line but went on to score 21 goals and 20 assists in the regular season, helping the Bruins reach the play-offs.
He scored 11 goals and had eight assists in 25 play-off appearances as Boston eventually won the Stanley Cup for the sixth time in their history and first since 1990, edging past Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in the finals.
Last season Marchand scored 28 goals, only Tyler Seguin managed more, and had 27 assists in 76 regular season appearances, with punters betting on NHL confident he can have a similar impact this campaign.
Chiarelli may now turn his attention towards getting several other players signed up to new contracts as Seguin, Milan Lucic and Tuukka Rask will all be restricted free agents at the end of the 2012-13 season, while Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference will be unrestricted.