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The Boston Bruins are expected to announce their recently completed signing of Marc Savard to a contract extension in the next few days. While official details are yet to be announced, the deal will reportedly keep the star center in Boston for seven years at cost of just over $28 million. However, because Savard is 32 years old (meaning he’ll be 39 when his contract expires), the contract is front-loaded, costing the Bruins $7 million in the first two years, $6.5 million in the third, $5 million in the third, and then dropping to a buyout friendly sum of $2.55 million spread over the final three years. Fortunately for the Bruins, the salary cap will only be an annual hit of just over $4 million, since it takes the average payout, not the actual one, into consideration.
“Looks like I’m going to have that chance [to finish my career in Boston]. So I’m happy about that. Over the last few years, I’ve watched this town grow back into a hockey town. Hopefully our goal as a team and a staff comes true that we can bring a Cup here to Boston,” Savard said to reporters.
The two-time All-Star has four goals and six assists (10 points) in this season, which has been shortened to 11 games because of a broken foot. Last season, Savard notched a team-high 88 points (25-63-88) to give him 199 goals and 474 assists in his 12 season career that has sent the Ottawa-native to the New York Rangers, the Calgary Flames, and the Atlanta Thrashers. At the end of this season, Savard was set to become an unrestricted free agent and potentially earn much more than the $5 million he currently earns annually.
To sign a playmaker like Savard to an extension where he will make less annually than he currently earns is a steal at first look. Not only does it reflect his selflessness and loyalty to Boston, but it also reveals that he thinks Boston has a chance to win the Stanley Cup. The deal is also friendly to the Bruins in terms of numbers because it’s unlikely Savard will last all seven years. If he retires after the first four years, there’s no more cap hit, or if the Bruins want to buy him out, it only deducts $1.33 million from their cap space. Furthermore, with Milan Lucic, Zdeno Chara, and Tim Thomas all locked up for the near future, the Bruins’ core will remain unchanged. However, in 2013-2014, Thomas and Savard will be 39 and 36 years old, respectively, and combine for approximately $9.1 million worth of a salary cap hit, which has the potential to be incredibly cumbersome. Despite this, it’s a great signing for the Bruins.