Found September 08, 2012 on Boston's Bettah:
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Brad Marchand received a contract extension from the Bruins on Friday Brad Marchand received a contract extension from the Boston Bruins on Friday. The extension, that kicks in next year, is scheduled to pay Brad Marchand a cap hit of $4.5 million over four seasons. Marchand is coming off a season where he put up 55 points on 28 goals and 27 assists and posted a +/- of 31, one of the best in the National Hockey League. With restricted free-agency coming up in the 2012-13 off-season, it makes sense on paper for the Boston Bruins to extend Brad Marchand. At that price, however, I am a little skeptical about what the Boston Bruins are doing. The Boston Bruins have the least amount of cap space in the entire National Hockey league, with only $1.3 million left to spend in 2012. Granted, they are wiping away some cap space next season when Tim Thomas and his $5 million come off the books, but a look at who the Bruins have to potentially sign is menacing. Players like Tuukka Rask, Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin are all up for new contracts next off-season and it could easily be argued that Brad Marchand was the one that the Boston Bruins should have targeted last. Marchand is the classic “pest” player. He gets under people’s skin, fights hard for loose pucks, and (for better or worse) is adept at drawing penalties. These are the type of players that fans love when they are on your team and despise when they are on the other teams. Every team has at least one of them. Some are more skilled than others and Brad Marchand is one of them, but the fact that “every team has one” means that there is always another one to sign. Which raises the point that $4.5 million is not really a bargain contract, especially when looking at the rest of the league and realizing that guys like James Neal is making only $500,000 more and the captain of the defending cup champion Kings, Dustin Brown is making less than $4 million. Both of them are more talented than Marchand by a long shot. Sure, the pest is important, but worth $4.5 million when ones can be found elsewhere? The Boston Bruins are really paying a lot of money and banking that Marchand can become better than a second line wing. Sorry for being skeptical, but I don’t see that. It almost seems like a move by the Boston Bruins in anticipation of a salary reduction in the next CBA, but that is a major risk. What if salaries remain the same and the players win? What if the cap goes down? Suddenly, the Boston Bruins are saddled with a mid to top level contract for a player that may or may not get better. Again, lots and lots of risk associated with the move and I’m not usually one to take risk. Combined with the fact that they’re best offensive weapon, Tyler Seguin, is due for a contract next year, and suddenly the Boston Bruins have a potential problem set to go off. I love Marchand and I love the way he plays, but with similar players always on the market and big names for the Bruins to lock up next year, the timing just doesn’t seem right to justify an extension.
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