Until today, Brad Marchand was a restricted free agent.
But he was never too worried about getting to training camp on time.
The 23-year-old left winger, who agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Bruins today, said he always wanted to stay in Boston, and knew all along "it was just a matter of time" before something got done.
"I don't think I was getting nervous," Marchand said on a conference call with reporters this afternoon. "I was just getting anxious. As camp approached, I wanted to be there. I was very excited to get underway. We both knew something was going to get done; it was just a matter of time. I was never worried it was going to drag long into camp. I knew it was going to get done. It was just a matter of time; what day it would finish up here, before camp started."
Marchand, who is reportedly due to earn $2 million this year and $3 million next year, had been skating at captain's practices, even without a contract in place.
"I had a feeling it would get done," Boston GM Peter Chiarelli said. "It's nice to finish this business before camp. If you fall behind in camp, it's hard to catch up. I didn't think it would get to that stage, and it didn't."
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Marchand had an impressive rookie season in 2010-11, posting 21 goals and 20 assists. But he really earned his new deal in the playoffs, when he totaled 19 points in 25 games -- including two goals in Game 7 against the Vancouver Canucks.
He said today he's looking to get even better.
"There's always room for every player to improve," Marchand said. "I think a big part that I still want to improve is my defensive game. You watch guys like [Patrice Bergeron] and [David Krejci]; they're some of the top guys in the league and on our team, and they're so defensively strong. That's a big area I want to improve on."