The Boston Bruins have locked up agitating forward Brad Marchand with a four-year contract extension, the team announced on Friday.
The feisty Marchand, 24, a key cog in the Bruins' run to the 2011 Stanley Cup, will make $4.5 million US per season, starting in 2013-14. He is scheduled to make $3 million in the coming campaign, the last of his two-year contract.
Marchand said familiarity was a factor in re-signing.
"Being part of this team, it's like being part of a family," Marchand said. "It's been a long summer without them all and I'm very excited to be with them all here for the next number of years. ... We're going to be a very strong team for years to come. And I think we can have the opportunity here to do some very good things and especially make a couple of good runs at the Cup."
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was equally elated with the signing and stressed the importance of having Marchand on the roster, saying he brings intangible qualities.
"His style of play, his persona, his timely goals and his amount of goals bring a great component to the Bruins," Chiarelli said in a conference call. "It's nice when you can sign a player like Brad who has worked his way up through the organization and plays the way we all enjoy watching him play."
The 22-year-old scored 28 goals and added 27 assists in 76 regular season games with the Bruins last season — all career highs for the Hammond Plains, N.S. native, who also recorded 87 penalty minutes and was a plus-31.
Marchand was drafted by Boston in the third round, 71st overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.With files from The Associated Press