The Bruins locked up one of their key young players on Thursday, signing defenseman Adam McQuaid to a three-year extension. The Bruins still have 10 other players with contracts expiring after the current season, but Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli stated his focus now is on signing the one player returning from last year's Stanley Cup roster that still doesn't have a contract for 2011-12.
"Right now my priority is signing Brad Marchand," Chiarelli said in a conference call Thursday evening. "So we're going to stick to that and later on in the summer we'll see where we're at. At this point we're not looking to sign any [other] extensions right now."
McQuaid was entering the final year of his current deal, but now will be staying in Boston through the 2014-15 season.
How long Marchand will remain with the Bruins is less certain. Chiarelli was once again tight-lipped about the status of negotiations, but did offer some reason for optimism.
"I'm just not going to comment every time I go to the media," Chiarelli said. "There's been discussions. We feel there's been progress, and that's where I'll leave it."
Like McQuaid, Marchand made his NHL debut in 2009-10, but really broke through this past season. The agitating winger put up 21-20-41 totals in the regular season, then added 11-8-19 totals in the Bruins' run to the Cup.
Marchand, 23, had an $821,667 cap hit and a base salary of $600,000 last year in the final year of his entry-level deal. He is a restricted free agent, giving the Bruins the right to match any offer he gets from another club or receive draft-pick compensation.