In a deal first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, defenseman Johnny Boychuk has agreed to a three-year extension with the Boston Bruins worth $10.08 million.
The deal represents a significant raise and some stability for the 28-year-old blueliner. Boychuk was in the final year of a contract that paid him $2 million annually (the new one’s worth $3.36 million yearly.)
A second-round pick of the Avalanche in 2002, Boychuck struggled to find his niche until he was traded to the Bruins in 2008. Since then, Boychuck has been a vital contributor to the Boston blueline and was a key cog in last year’s Stanley Cup-winning squad, scoring 3G-6A-9PTS in 25 games.
The 6-foot-2, 225 lb. rearguard has three goals and seven assists and is plus-23 in 52 games this season, averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per night.
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.