September 7, 2012

Bruins ink Marchand to four-year extension

By Jesse Connolly

When Brad Marchand signed his last deal with the Bruins, he was a man without a contract and training camp was fast approaching. This time around, he and the B’s took care of business early.

General manager Peter Chiarelli announced that the club has inked No. 63 to a four-year extension through 2016-17. Marchand will earn $4.5 million annually.

Last time around, the undersized, feisty winger was fresh off his first full NHL season. He won the team’s 7th Player Award, scoring 21 goals and adding 20 assists in 70 contests.

He followed it up with a playoff performance for the ages, notching 19 points, which included 11 goals – two of which came in Boston’s Cup clinching win in Vancouver in Game 7.

This past season, the 24-year-old forward dodged the dreaded sophomore slump, placing second on the team with 28 goals while adding 27 assists. Marchand was plus-31 (fifth in the league) and scored five power-play goals.

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Marchand was selected 71st overall by the B’s back in 2006. He has 97 points in 173 career games. His current contract, a two-year deal worth $2.5 million annually, concludes at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Chiarelli, who will host a conference call in a few hours to talk about the deal, has now taken care of one of the Bruins’ key pending free agents. Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Jordan Caron and Tuukka Rask will be becoming restricted free agents if not signed to extensions by July 1 next summer, while Nathan Horton and Andrew Ference will become unrestricted free agents.

Check back later for Chiarelli’s take on Marchand’s new pact.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.