Congratulations to Johnny Boychuk and his family as the former Bruins defenseman and Stanley Cup champion has signed a seven year extension with the New York Islanders. The deal is worth a reported $42 million with an average annual value of $6 million per year according to Newsday. That's the highest paid player on the team currently in Islanders system, as John Tavares took a cap friendly deal to help general manager, Garth Snow, build a competitive hockey club. With that extension now in the books, was it worth it to ditch Johnny Boychuk after Chiarelli telling us he wanted to trade Seidenberg?
As we all now know and remember, Johnny Boychuk could have been kept with our current cap situation, even though it would have been paper thin. BruinsLife writer, Andy Whang, wrote yesterday with perfect detail explaining the Bruins cap situation had they kept Boychuk. Peter Chiarelli also announced before the trade deadline that Dennis Seidenberg was being placed on the trade market. So why not deal Seidenberg at the beginning of the season rather than Boychuk? Seidenberg is two years older than Boychuk and was also coming off an ACL/MCL tear, something that can cripple an athletes ability to compete as they did before. Seidenberg has still shown he can be a top four defenseman in the NHL and the return the Bruins got for Boychuk was equivalent to what they could have gotten for Seidenberg. That would keep Boychuk in a city where he loved to play, around teammates and fans that loved him, and most importantly, having a positive attitude with a smile in the locker room. The Bruins could have used that in the earlier parts of the season. Not to mention, if Boychuk was still in Boston, do you think he also would have signed a cheaper deal?
Boychuk has clearly adjusted to life in New York and his family is happily watching Boychuk have another productive season. Boychuk has posted 32 points to lead all Isles defenseman this year, averaging over 21 minutes a night and maintaining a +17 plus/minus.
"Johnny’s influence in our dressing room, both on and off the ice, has been immeasurable," Islanders general manager Garth Snow told the NHL.com. "His veteran presence is an asset that we are thrilled to help lead our club."
Although seven years is a little more than expected for a 31-year old defenseman, the New York Islanders seem to have found a cornerstone to their blue line for many years to come.