BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Bruins locked up defenseman Johnny Boychuk with a three-year, $10.1 million deal on Tuesday, and 28-year-old couldn’t be happier.

“Boston as a city is probably the best place to play I think, even though I haven’t really played anywhere else,” Boychuk said after the Bruins 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers Tuesday night. “The fans are just so into it, they’re always cheering – sold out every night. Why wouldn’t you want to stay here.”

Boychuk will make $3.1, $3.4 and $3.6 million annually throughout the deal, which includes a limited no-trade clause. He was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season, but wanted to stay with a team that fits his style.

“They’re physical, it’s a fast paced game, you work as a team and we have a lot of chemistry here,” he said, adding he no intentions of hitting free agency and testing the market.

General Manager Peter Chiarelli, as he has done with other potential free agents, saw a player that wanted to remain in Boston and locked him up.

“Johnny really wanted to stay here. I think that’s the overriding theme,” Chiarelli prior to Tuesday night’s game. “He has obviously been a good performer for us. He’s a big, strong, physical D, and I’ve had some discussions with all our free agents, I think, over the last month or so, and this is a deal that has come out of it so far. He’s a Bruin type of player – physical, and yet he can score the shot, and he’s a punishing player. He chose not to test the market, which was nice for us, and we have him under contract for three more years.”

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Chiarelli said the process began roughly a month ago. The Bruins did not want Boychuk to hit free agency on July 1, because the price likely would have gone up.

“That usually happens. I would think that Johnny, if he had gone to the market, he could have gotten more. The grass is not always greener, and he probably would have gotten more, and maybe some more terms,” said Chiarelli.

Boychuk’s salary cap hit will be the second highest among Bruins defensemen behind captain Zdeno Chara. The only defenseman not currently signed past this season is Joe Corvo.

98.5 The Sports Hub is the only place to hear every game of the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins 2011-12 NHL season with Dave Goucher and Bob Beers. Pregame coverage begins 30 minutes before every game.


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