Originally posted on Puck Drunk Love  |  Last updated 2/14/12

Boston locked up veteran defenseman Johnny Boychuk with a three year contract extension worth $10.08 million dollars. Boychuk was expected to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

The extension will keep him in Boston until he is 31 years old. He’ll earn $3.36 million annually for the lifetime of the deal, a figure that represents a 68% uptick from his 2011-12 salary of $2 million.

Defense has long been the hallmark of Bruins teams, from Eddie Shore to Robert Gordon Orr to Ray Bourque and now Zdeno Chara. Boychuk has averaged 20:31 minutes on ice per game this year, putting him third among the team’s blueliners after Chara and Dennis Seidenberg.

On the season, Boychuk has tallied three goals and dished seven assists. He’s racked up 42 PIM and has a gaudy +23 +/-. He’s been the number 2 defensemen on the ice during Bruins games throughout the season filling the role of stay-at home D-man consistently.

Boychuk’s extension may be a prelude to a trade, as Boston expects to be active in the lead up to the deadline, now less than two weeks away. But for the moment, the club has locked up one of there younger defensemen for the next three seasons.

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This article first appeared on Puck Drunk Love and was syndicated with permission.

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