|Boychuk, 28, was originally drafted by the Avs. (Getty Images)|
The Boston Bruins reportedly sewn up another one of their core players before they ever even hit the free-agent market. This time they have locked in defenseman Johnny Boychuk to a three-year contract for an average annual salary of $3.36 million as first reported by TSN's Bob McKenzie.
Boychuk, who is currently carrying a cap of $1.875 million, was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. Now he joins the litany of Bruins players who aren't going anywhere, not yet.
Boston GM Peter Chiarelli has done an even more remarkable job of locking in his players to team-friendly contracts while building a powerhouse team. They manage to maintain space under the cap and keeping all of their players together, for the most part. Boychuk is the latest example. Why even let the guys hit the free market?
For Boychuk it's a very nice pay day. Like every position in the league it seems except for the enforcer, defensive defensemen have been seeing a nice bump in value. Although it doesn't seem as incredibly friendly to the team as some other deals have been under Chiarelli, the headaches of going on the free-agent market are taking care of.
But it's not like he's a scrub. He gives the Bruins more than 20 minutes of ice time per night and is a big hitter.
Boychuk doesn't give a whole lot at all in the offensive categories, his job is to stop pucks from going in the net. On the season Boychuk has three goals and seven assists to speak of. Outside of captain Zdeno Chara, he makes up a great but quiet group of defensemen. They mostly leave the scoring up to the Bruins' four lines of offense.
The new deal for Boychuk leaves the Bruins with only one more of their top six defenseman unsigned through next season, that's Joe Corvo. Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton are unsigned through this season. Benoit Pouliot and Tuukka Rask are restricted free agent after this season. Chances are you'll see most of them sticking around if Chiarelli's track record is any indication.