BOSTON — According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk has signed a 3-year contract worth $10.08 million — an average of $3.36 million per year. The extension will run through the end of the 2014-15 season.
Boychuk’s deal makes him the second highest paid defenseman on the team behind Zdeno Chara, who carries a cap hit of over $6 million.
After a slip in production last year, Boychuk has been a viable third defenseman on the Black and Gold pairing with Chara for most of the season, averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per night to go along with his 10 points (3 goals, 7 assists). In 177 career games, the 28-year-old defenseman has 11 goals and 30 assists.
With the current core, the Bruins have over $55 million committed to 15 players with a little under $9 million in cap space for next season. The entire fourth line of Gregory Campbell, Shawn Thornton and Daniel Paille are all unrestricted free agents along with Chris Kelly and Joe Corvo; and Tuukka Rask is an RFA at the end of the year. On to of all that, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin are all free agents after the 2012-13 season.
This is without question a risky move by GM Peter Chiarelli. If he remains on a pair with Chara and can pull his weight then this deal could pay dividends. But if it doesn’t it could prove costly when trying to re-up those deals for pending and future free agents.