Hard rock left winger Milan Lucic, with one year remaining on his current contract, has agreed to a three-year, $18 million extension. Lucic is entering the final season of his current deal, which averages $4.083 million annually.
"He's a very good player on our team," GM Peter Chiarelli said during a conference call. "This is a deal that both sides are comfortable with. It gives us, under the current system, two years of UFA, which is huge. It gives Milan the ability to get back to the market in four years, but still gives him an element of security, playing with the team and in the city he loves."
In 2013-14, the first year of Lucic's extension, the power forward will become the second-highest-paid player on the team. Zdeno Chara is the leader at just under $7 million annually.
Lucic, age 24 and already a five-year NHL veteran, would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2014 under the league's current collective bargaining agreement.
Earlier this week, the Bruins inked second-year forward Tyler Seguin to a six-year extension at an average $5.75 million per season. The deal came only days after Brad Marchand, also with a year remaining on his contract, signed a four-year extension worth a total of $18 million.
Meanwhile, with the current CBA to expire this evening, the league and the players' union remain at loggerheads over many key economic issues--including the league's desire to place limitations on the term length of player contracts. Absent an unexpected 11th-hour turnround, Commissioner Gary Bettman will impose the third lockout of his tenure, which began at the start of 1993.
In an eight-day span, the Bruins have committed $70.5 million in total future salary to Lucic, Seguin, and Marchand.
"These are big numbers we've given these guys the past little bit," Chiarelli said. "They're deserving of them. They're all very good players, core guys. It's more about keeping the core together. We don't throw caution to the wind. We do our planning with different scenarios depending on what the system will be going forward. We feel we've got some latitude going forward."
* This will be the Bruins' final transaction prior to midnight. No transactions are expected to take place during a lockout.