Brad Marchand will be sticking with the Bruins for a long, long time. USATSI

The Boston Bruins announced Monday that the team has signed Brad Marchand to a maximum eight-year extension, worth $49 million.

Marchand's new contract will come with an annual cap hit of $6.125 million. The extension will kick in for the 2017-18 season, keeping Marchand from exploring unrestricted free agency, where he surely would have drawn massive interest and probably more money on a per-year basis.

The Bruins' agitating winger is coming off of the best season of his career. He was among the league leaders with 37 goals and tallied a career-best 61 points. Prior to last season, his career highs were 28 goals and 55 points, both coming in 2011-12.

Marchand is set to enter his seventh season as a full-time NHLer and eighth overall. In 454 NHL games, all with the Bruins, Marchand has collected 289 points. He was a key player for the squad during its Stanley Cup run in 2011, posting 11 goals and 19 points in 25 games as the Bruins hoisted their first Cup since 1972.

Having just turned 28 in the spring, the Bruins are not probably going to be getting Marchand's very best years on this contract, but they're going to get some really good ones. Meanwhile, they're paying him essentially the going rate for top-six winger with his scoring abilities. Marchand also adds his talent for getting under the opposing team's skin to his notable puck skills as well.

Marchand is currently skating with Team Canada at the World Cup of Hockey, where he's been playing alongside Bruins teammate Patrice Bergeron and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby. He is currently second on the team with five points, which included a pair of goals against Russia in Canada's semifinal victory. He has more than proved he belongs among the best forwards in the league with his performance there.

The Bruins now have their core forwards locked up long term, with Patrice Bergeron under contract through 2022 and David Krejci through 2021. Goalie Tuukka Rask is also signed through 2021. Now the Bruins have to keep building around them, knowing that Zdeno Chara is heading in the twilight of his career.

Marchand would have made more as a UFA, almost certainly. On that front, this is a solid deal for the Bruins that should prove especially fruitful in the short term.