Against the backdrop of an NHL lockout, the Bruins agreed to a new, four-year deal with forward Brad Marchand on Friday.
The feisty Marchand, 24, a key cog in the Bruins’ run to the 2011 Stanley Cup, will make $4.5 million per season, starting in 2013-14. He is scheduled to make $3 million in the coming season, the last of his two-year contract.
Marchand had 28 goals and 27 assists last season, as Boston won the Northeast Division but lost in the first round to Washington.
”His style of play, his persona, his timely goals and his amount of goals bring a great component to the Bruins,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a conference call. ”It’s nice when you can sign a player like Brad who has worked his way up through the organization and plays the way we all enjoy watching him play.”
Marchand, who was a plus-31 last season, was drafted No. 71 overall in 2006, and has 49 goals and 48 assists in 173 career games.
”We’ve tried to be relatively proactive in extending contracts for guys prior to the start of the season and we’re trying to keep our core together,” Chiarelli said. ”It’s part and parcel of that in what we’re trying to do.”
Marchand has 12 goals and 21 points in 32 postseason games for Boston, and was a force in 2011 as the Bruins won three seven-game series en route to the Stanley Cup. They went the distance against Montreal (first round), Tampa Bay (conference finals) and Vancouver (Cup finals), and swept Philadelphia (Round 2).
”Being part of this team, it’s like being part of a family,” Marchand said. ”It’s been a long summer without them all and I’m very excited to be with them all here for the next number of years. … We’re going to be a very strong team for years to come. And I think we can have the opportunity here to do some very good things and especially make a couple of good runs at the Cup.”
The deal comes as the NHL and NHLPA prepare for a potential lockout. The deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement is Sept. 15. The regular season is slated to begin on Oct. 11.
Whenever play resumes, Chiarelli knows what to expect from Marchand.
”As a general manager you enjoy watching him play that in-your-face game,” Chiarelli said. ”He sacrifices his body and he’s really coming into his own as an offensive player.”