Johnny Boychuk is entering the final year of his contract with the Boston Bruins and with all the commotion being created over whether General Manager Peter Chiarelli will bring the veteran blue liner back; Boychuk is standing by his GM. In a recent interview with the Edmonton Journal, Boychuk expressed his belief and support for Chiarelli being able to resolve the cap issues the Bruins face.
The vote of confidence from Boychuk in Chiarelli goes to show how far Boychuk has come since being traded to the Bruins during the summer of 2008. Boychuk could be like other players entering the last year of a contract and put up more of a fuss over being put in the situation he faces. Especially given what transpired during a free agency that saw some ridiculous contracts handed out to defensemen.
Boychuk will earn $3.36 million dollars this year and stands to receive a substantially higher contract if he reaches free agency next year; it’s been predicted to be in the five million dollar range. Given the Bruins will have other players to focus on signing next year such as David Krejci and Dougie Hamilton, most have assumed Boychuk is probably entering his last year as a Bruin.
There’s also the prospect of Boychuk being traded prior to the start of the season as a result of the Bruins defensive depth and the value he possesses as a player. Already there has been speculation of the Edmonton Oilers being a possible destination for Boychuk whether it be through a trade or via free agency.
However, Boychuk has made it clear that in a perfect he would find a way to stay with the Bruins, and his belief in Peter Chiarelli to figure out a way to get it done expresses the passion he has to remain with this club. Realistically, I cannot see Boychuk being on the Bruins roster next season given his market value and how on several younger teams in the league, Boychuk could end up being a top two defenseman for that roster.
Boychuk is without a doubt the most attractive piece that the Bruins are probably fielding offers for going into the start of the season. People have criticized the Bruins for reacting impulsively at times when it comes to making deals(Tyler Seguin cough cough), however I fully expect Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the Bruins management team to be scrupulous when it comes to manufacturing a deal involving Boychuk. Either way, it is most likely time for Bruins fan to savor their last year of hearing Jack Edwards say those four beautiful words each time number 55 rips a slapshot from the blue line, “It’s A Johnny Rocket”.