Per the team's official website:
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, September 7, that the club has signed forward Brad Marchand to a four-year contract extension through the 2016-17 season. Marchand’s contract will be worth an average of $4.5 million annually over the four years of his deal.
The 2011-12 season marked Marchand’s second full NHL season with the Bruins. The 5’9”, 183-pound native of Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia registered NHL career highs in goals, assists and points, recording 28-27=55 totals, along with 87 penalty minutes in 76 games.
For a player who has the potential to score 30 goals per season for many years to come, the Bruins did well to lock up Marchand at just $4.5 million per season. Chiarelli has built a Stanley Cup-caliber roster that has just two players with a salary cap hit of more than $5 million, which is hard to do in today's NHL. With this Marchand contract, Chiarelli has locked up another key part of the Bruins' future for four more years.
Boston Globe writer Fluto Shinzawa shares some other NHL stars who have signed similar contracts recently.
Some Marchand (4/$18M) comps: Versteeg (4/$17.6M), Voracek (4/$17M), Oshie (5/$20.875M). Thanks @capgeek.— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) September 7, 2012
Boston will pay Marchand $2.5 million next season as he finishes the two-year, $5 million contract he signed after 2010-11 season.
Marchand's style of play is perfect for the Bruins. He is a pest on the ice, definitely annoys his opponents and gets under their skin, but he's also a very skilled player. He has impressive speed and is not a liability in the defensive zone.
Marchand is underpaid in his current deal, but certainly has plenty incentive to get even better throughout his new extension since it could take him to unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2017. He could be in for a significant payday at that point if he becomes an elite player.
It wouldn't be surprising to see any of the Bruins' other upcoming free agents sign new deals under the current CBA because they would likely make less money if they signed a new deal in the next labor agreement. The current CBA expires in eight days.
Notable Bruins players who could possibly sign an extension before September 15 include restricted free agents Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic.
Nicholas Goss is a Boston Bruins Columnist at Bleacher Report. He was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston, and has covered the Bruins since the 2010-11 season. Follow him on Twitter.