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Bruins reach deal with Raycroft

Bruins netminder Andrew Raycroft finally came to contract terms this afternoon, agreeing to a one-year deal for approximately $1.2 million -- essentially the figure he was offered prior to beginning his holdout when training camp opened on Monday.

“They offered a little more money this morning, but it was basically a symbolic gesture,'' said Raycroft's agent, Jordan Neumman, confirming the deal was finalized shortly after 4 p.m. today. ``It was time for this to end.''

Provided that the Bruins and Raycroft can clear up what Neumann termed “an immigration technicality'', the 25-year-old could be in Boston today. Raycroft has been home in Belleville, Ont., working out with the local junior team.

``Frankly, it was time for this to end, and time for Andrew to get his career going again,'' said Neumann, speaking via cellphone while on business in Iowa. ``It's a one-year deal, and the best he was going to do, given what his rights are as a restricted free agent under the new CBA. He has arbitration rights next summer, and this allows him to play, and hopefully be in better position to negotiate next summer.''

According to Neumann, the fact that the Bruins on Wednesday signed free-agent goalie Tim Thomas, the MVP of Finland's top pro league last summer, did not influence his client's thinking.

``No, not at all,'' said Neumann. ``We didn't see it as one thing having to do with the other.''

Ideally, said Neumann, he will begin discussions with the Bruins after Jan. 1, per the new CBA, about a longer-term deal for Raycroft, who in 2003-'04 was the NHL's Rookie of the Year.

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