Last year, I thought Marc Savard would have a big year for the Boston Bruins in part because he was in a contract year only to see the team sign him to a lucrative (and lengthy) contract extension. Patrice Bergeron was in a similar spot going into this season, but he too will avoid the nerve-wracking endeavor of going through a contract year, as Joe Haggerty of CSSNE.com reports that the team signed him to a three-year, $15 million extension today.
A source close to the negotiations told CSNNE.com on Thursday that a new deal was “unlikely to happen” in Europe, but that changed after a long conversation between Bergeron and general manager Peter Chiarelli in the corner of a room at the State Dinner in the Prime Minister’s Palace Thursday night. It appeared Chiarelli wasn’t going to leave the room until he had a deal in place with his 25-year-old superstar center.
The source also told CSNNE.com that both sides were talking about something between 2-4 years in length, and that’s exactly what the three-year extension falls. He will make $250,000 more per season than he was making on his deal set to expire. The signing is a coup for the Bruins, who avoid letting Bergeron get close to free agency.
While I admire Bergeron’s two-way prowess and versatility, I’m not sure if paying a player with a history of concussion problems $5 million per year is necessarily a “coup.” The slick center’s deal was starting to look like an albatross not that long ago and he’s actually getting a raise going forward.
Still, it allows the Bruins to worry about other things, like determining what exactly they want to do with Zdeno Chara’s expiring contract situation. Boston GM Peter Chiarelli seems like he makes nice trades and solid draft picks with his Achilles Heel being that he tends to overpay his own impending free agents, but we’ll see if the Bruins end up looking bright when it comes to re-signing Bergeron early.