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Bruins ink Boychuk to three-year extension

Tuesday, 02.14.2012 / 6:47 PM / News

NHL.com

The Boston Bruins announced Tuesday that defenseman Johnny Boychuk signed a three-year contract extension through the 2014-15 season. The club did not disclose financial terms, but TSN reports the deal is worth $10.08 million.

Boychuk, 28, has played in 52 games for Boston this season, scoring three goals and adding seven assists for 10 points. He entered Tuesday's action eighth in the NHL with a plus-23 rating. He is playing the final season of a two-year deal and would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer.

“Johnny really wanted to stay here -- I think that’s the overriding theme," GM Peter Chiarelli said before Tuesday night's game against the New York Rangers. "He has obviously been a good performer for us. He’s a big, strong, physical D, and I’ve had some discussions with all our free agents, I think, over the last month or so, and this is a deal that has come out of it so far. He’s a Bruin type of player – physical, and yet he can score the shot, and he’s a punishing player. He chose not to test the market, which was nice for us, and we have him under contract for three more years.”

Chiarelli also said Boychuk received a limited no-trade clause, the team said via its Twitter account.

Boychuk played 69 games for Boston in 2010-11, his first full season with the Bruins, scoring three goals and adding 13 assists. He skated in all 25 playoff games last spring, scoring three goals and adding six assists during Boston's run to its first Stanley Cup Championship since 1972.  He had five goals and 10 assists in 51 games for Boston in 2009-10 after being recalled from Providence of the AHL, where he was voted the league's top defenseman in 2008-09 after scoring 20 goals and 66 points in 78 games.

"Certainly for a defenseman, they mature at a later pace, a later time than forwards," Chiarelli said. "I think it’s a harder position to learn, it’s a harder position to improve at.

"I think he’s 28 ... so that’s young. It used to be that you’d have a player like that under your – the rights to the player until he was 31, and then you’d think about signing 31-, 32-year-olds in the free market. He’s still young and still learning, and he’s an enthusiastic player, and as I said earlier, he wants to stay here."

Boychuk has played in 177 regular-season NHL games with Boston and Colorado, which drafted him in the third round (No. 61) in the 2002 NHL Draft. The Bruins acquired him in a deal for Matt Hendricks on June 24, 2008.

Playing for my favorite team growing up, I've probably scored that goal a million times in my driveway. It feels good to actually do it in real life.

— Dale Weise, who grew up a Canadiens fan, on scoring the overtime winner in Montreal's 5-4 victory against Tampa Bay in Game 1