BOSTON (CBS) –  The biggest check mark absent from the Boston Bruins “To Do” list this offseason is signing restricted free-agent Brad Marchand.

General Manager Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins brass have been working hard to get it done and Chiarelli said there has been some progress. But he would not give out any more info regarding the negotiations when asked on Thursday.

“There have been discussions and we feel there is progress. That’s where I’ll leave it,” Chiarelli said on a conference call to announce defenseman Adam McQuaid’s three-year contract extension.

The Bruins extended a qualifying offer to Marchand earlier in the offseason, meaning they can match any offer made to the forward.

Marchand was a key cog for the Bruins in their 2011 Stanley Cup Championship run. He scored 21 goals in his rookie season, working his way up from the fourth line to play alongside Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi on the second line by seasons end. He set a Bruins rookie record with 11-goals in the postseason, scoring five in the Stanley Cup Final series against the Vancouver Canucks. With eight assists, he totaled 19 points in the playoffs.

Marchand also proved himself valuable as an instigator, getting under the opposition’s skin while still making his impact on the stat sheet. The 23-year-old, who will likely command over $3 million per year, is an important part of the Bruins future, mixing well with the young core of the team.

There is little chance the Bruins lose Marchand, but reaching a deal with the forward should remain their top priority as their Stanley Cup summer continues.


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