Bruins give Adam McQuaid extension

The Boston Bruins signed defenseman Adam McQuaid to a three-year extension that keeps him in the organization through the 2014-15 season, after a successful first full season with the Stanley Cup champions, the team announced Thursday.

Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the extension, the Bruins have virtually locked up the six defensive spots for the future. McQuaid spent the 2009-10 season mostly as either a healthy scratch or in Providence, making 19 appearances with the NHL club and recording no points in nine playoff games.

This season, the 6-foot-5, 210-pounder solidified himself in the third defensive pairing, earning praise for his physicality in puck battles and the way he used his stick in front of the net. He tallied 15 points and 96 penalty minutes in 67 regular-season games, leading all rookies in plus-minus at plus-30. He played in all but two of the Bruins' 25 Stanley Cup games, registering four points and 14 penalty minutes.

"Adam has been a bit of a poster child for our development," Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a conference call with the media. "He came into our organization, he worked hard at his craft, at the American [Hockey] League level, and improved every year. He's found his way into the lineup and now is a real solid contributor, with his size, his toughness, his range, and we continue to see him improve, and he's still at a young age.

"We felt fortunate to be able to lock him up for the foreseeable future. He's a very competitive player and a competitive person. Although sometimes he comes across as quiet, we know that there's an inner drive to this player and we've seen it in the playoffs. We've seen the way he competes, the way he closes off his checks, and we're very excited as an organization to have him in the mix for the foreseeable future."

McQuaid, 24, is entering the final year of a deal with a $600,000 salary, with a $575,000 cap hit. But this was an opportunity he says was too good to pass up.

"Really, to be honest with you there was no hesitation at all," McQuaid said. "It's where I want to be, it's where I want to be for a long time, and to be able to do something that could put me in that position was really a no-brainer for me."

Chiarelli said this was an instance in which "both parties came together and the timing was right," while adding that signing Brad Marchand is the team's top priority right now.

Asked for an updated on the Marchand discussions, Chiarelli said flatly, "I'm just not going to comment every time I go to the media. There's been discussions, we feel there's been progress, and again that's where I'll leave it."

The Bruins also signed forward Craig Cunningham to an entry-level contract after an impressive showing at last week's development camp in Wilmington. The 5-foot-9, 191-pound forward appeared in 21 playoff games for the WHL's Portland Winterhawks, tallying 21 points.

Defenseman Zach McKelvie was also signed to a one-year deal. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder tallied 56 points in four seasons with Army (2005-2008) before shutting it down to fulfill military obligations. The Minnesota native won the fastest skater competition at the 2009 Frozen Four.

Brendan Hall is a reporter for ESPNBoston.com.