Brad Marchand Extension Fair for Both Sides, Especially When Compared to Recent DealsPeter Chiarelli
and the Bruins are expected to have a lot of work to do once the 2013 summer rolls around. They jumped the gun with one item on that checklist on Friday.

The club announced that it had signed forward Brad Marchand to a four-year contract extension. Financially, Marchand's new contract will cost the B's $4.5 million per year beginning in 2013-14.

With the possibility of a work stoppage around the corner and with a bevy of contracts set to expire following the 2012-13 season, extending Marchand now makes all the sense in the world. The annual cap hit probably shades toward the higher side, but you have to assume that Marchand is still trending up in terms of talent development.

The market continues to be established with players like Marchand, as a potential lockout and eventually a new collective bargaining agreement loom. Marchand's deal, in fact, isn't unlike a few other contract extensions that have been inked in the past month or so.

Mike Fisher, Scott Hartnell and Max Pacioretty were all set to be restricted free agents following the 2012-13 season. All three now have extensions with Nashville, Philadelphia and Montreal respectively. The figures are all relatively the same for three players who are integral pieces to their teams moving forward.

Here are how the figures shape up:

Fisher: two years, $8.4 million ($4.2 million cap hit)

Hartnell: six years, $28.5 million ($4.75 million cap hit)

Pacioretty: six years, $27 million ($4.5 million cap hit)

Marchand: four years, $18 million ($4.5 million cap hit)

And here are what these players did last season:

Fisher: 24-27-51 totals, plus-11, five power play goals*

Hartnell: 37-30-67, plus-19, 16 power play goals

Pacioretty: 33-32-65, plus-2, four power play goals

Marchand: 28-27-55, plus-31, five power play goals

*Also married to Carrie Underwood. This should be noted … just because.

So what does it all mean? Well, if the Bruins are assuming that Marchand can be a 30-goal scorer type of player, this extension fits right in with other deals be given out. It may also say that Hartnell is a little bit underpaid. Then again, when you played in a lineup with the likes of Claude Giroux and Jaromir Jagr, life is a little bit easier.

The numbers are close enough when compared to each other, especially when you consider that Marchand may obviously mean more to the Bruins than other clubs.

With a player like Marchand, there are things that can't be valued strictly by stats. Marchand's role as the agitator on a rough and tough team has been detailed time and time again. He knows how to win, and he was a vital part of the Bruins team that won the Stanley Cup in 2011. 

More importantly, he gets what the Bruins are trying to do, and he fits in with the core group of players that many expect will help the Bruins contend for the next few years.

However, Bruins fans hope Chiarelli is far from done. Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Nathan Horton and Tuukka Rask will all be free agents in the summer of 2013. Those players are all, in at least some capacity, important in maintaining the Bruins' core moving forward. 

The continued presentation of contact extensions — it seems like Chiarelli has a conference call every three weeks to announce these — should give reason to believe the Bruins aren't done in locking up their players.

The financials of a deal for Marchand do take a little bit of a leap of faith, but it also sends the message that the Bruins are willing to keep their best players in town into their prime. With uncertainty on the horizon, there's no denying that the Bruins are dedicated to keeping their core intact.