The Bruins this afternoon announced that they have signed 24-year-old blueliner Adam McQuaid to a three-year contract extension that will kick in at the start of the 2012-'13 season, provided the NHL avoids a lockout following the expiration of its collective bargaining agreement with the players in Sept. 2012.
McQuaid, who logged valuable third-pairing minutes during the playoffs for the Cup winners, already had a deal in place for this season and will make $600,000. It's likely his new deal will slot in around $1.5 million per year.
During a conference call with the media, GM Peter Chiarelli referred to McQuaid as a ''fixture in our top six'' group of defensemen and expressed hope that the strapping 6-foot-5 kid from Prince Edward Island could play into a top four shutdown role.
''I see he has some shutdown ability,'' noted Chiarelli, ''and he possesses a two-way component to his game. I'd like to see him turn into a top four defenseman.''
Chiarelli numerous times complimented McQuaid for his willingness to learn, work diligently at improving his game.
''Ideally,''added McQuaid, ''I'd like to be a top shutdown defenseman, play big minutes...that's somelthing I'll need to work on to get to that point. I'd like to get there in the not-too-far future.''
Chiarelli would reveal little about his ongoing contract talks with restricted free agent Brad Marchand., other than to say he feels there has been some progress in signing the 23-year-old left winger.