The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a 3 year contract extension worth $10.08 million. TSN’s Hockey Insider Bob Mckenzie broke the story this afternoon. The deal will pay out $3.36 per year for the next three seasons. This is a considerable raise over his current $1.875 deal but to me he has earned it. The numbers may not be there for Boychuk this season but he makes up for it a variety of ways. His physical play is well above average and his ability to level an opponent with an open ice hit brings fans out of their seats. Johnny is also an excellent shot blocker and defensive presence averaging roughly two and half minutes of penalty kill ice time per game. The 6’2′, 28 year old defenseman has 3 goals, 7 assists, and a plus 23 this season in 52 games.
Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli has done an exceptional job at retaining many of the core pieces of this team which won a Stanley Cup last season. Chiarelli has kept most of the cup winning team in tact while adding a few pieces here and there to create better chemistry and production wherever needed throughout. Boychuk joins fellow teammates David Krejci and Rich Peverley in receiving an extension this season. While it is good on the Boston Bruins organization to hold onto these players and keep them at reasonable cap hits, their work is far from done. There are a bevy of potential unrestricted free agents the black and gold need to get under contract for next season.
Johnny is a big part of Boston’s defensive core and it is nice to see him rewarded. This news is also significant because it is obvious that Joe Corvo will not be a member of the Bruins for much longer. It is unlikely they will find any takers for him by the upcoming trade deadline, but he is a free agent at the end of the season and will be let go in favor of promising defensive prospect Dougie Hamilton. The Bruins face a tough match up in the New York Rangers with a chance to make a statement, maybe Boychuk will have some added incentive to have a big game.