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Friday, 13 March 2015 17:47

Johnny Boychuk Signs 7-Year Extension With Islanders

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For Boston Bruins fans hoping to reunite with a popular defenseman next season, Thursday's news was heartbreaking. 

But for Johnny Boychuk and his fans, both in Boston and on Long Island, Thursday's news was exciting and well-deserved.

The New York Islanders announced that they have agreed to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension with the defenseman, who has been a key part of the rapid turnaround for one of the best teams in hockey.  The 31-year-old, who was traded from Boston to the Isles at the start of this season for two second-round draft picks, was set to become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, but will now be spending the next seven years playing in back of one of the youngest and most talented teams in the NHL.

The Islanders, who have struggled mightily in recent history, have been battling with the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division all season long.  The Isles added two defensive pieces this season, and have now locked both of them up to long contract extensions, with Boychuk's deal and the seven-year, $38.5 million extension given to Nick Leddy earlier this season.  Both Leddy and Boychuk have had strong seasons in Long Island, combining for 61 points and a +34 rating (Boychuk - 7 goals/25 assists/+17, Leddy - 10 goals/19 assists/+17).

Boychuk, known in Boston for his "Johnny Rocket" slap shots, has already eclipsed his career-high in points this season with around a month left in the regular season.  The Bruins, needing to create cap space before the season began, moved Boychuk thinking that they had enough talent on the defensive end to withstand losing his veteran presence.  Injuries to captain Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller, Adam McQuaid, and Torey Krug have shown how important Boychuk was to the team's recent run of success, and fans have been hoping that the B's could lure him back at season's end.  His new contract extension erases any hope of that happening, but gives Bruins fans another team to root for years to come.

Just as long as those "Johnny Rockets" don't eliminate the Bruins from the playoffs.

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.