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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Bruins' Rich Peverley gets extension

By James Murphy
ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- Forward Rich Peverley signed a three-year contract extension with the Boston Bruins, the team announced Tuesday.

A source told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun that Peverley's deal averages $3.25 million per season. The deal will kick in after this season and run through the 2014-15 season.

Peverley, 29, was acquired by the Bruins in February from the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for defenseman Mark Stuart and forward Blake Wheeler. He played 23 regular-season games for the Bruins last season and posted four goals and three assists for seven points. He added four goals and eight assists for 12 points during the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup title run.

Peverley has been skating alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the team's second line this season, replacing the now-retired Mark Recchi.

He scored two goals in the team's 4-1 win over the Lightning Saturday night. That combined with his playoff performance last spring made it an easy decision for Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli to extend Peverley now rather than wait until later in the season to try and lock him up before he became an unrestricted free agent next July 1.

"Maybe we waited a little bit longer in signing some guys who are potential UFAs, but he's got speed, a good shot and he's still relatively young in the grander schemes," Chiarelli said Tuesday. "He's just a guy we wanted to have in our mix for the next four years. Sometimes there's a fine line between the top six or seven or eight. We always felt he was in that mix before we got him. We liked the way he fit into our group. It doesn't necessarily mean he'll be in that top six for the rest of the year, but I like to think of our top three lines as three equal lines.

"But I like his speed and I like his grit for his skill package, I like the way his speed backs up the D and I think he's made us a faster team.''

Chiarelli also acknowledged that Peverley's seemingly easy transition into the dressing room and the way he has fit in as a leader played a factor in getting the deal done now.

"That's important. That's important to have character and I know he's a real good guy," Chiarelli said. "But you can be a good guy and not play the way we want a player to play. But Rich is a good person and he fits in. It's not about him, it's about the team, which is important to us. He sacrifices his body and I like his grit for his skill package."

Peverley -- who signed a two-year extension with Atlanta last season that runs through this season -- was thrilled that he will remain a Bruin.

"It's nice to get it done," Peverley said following practice Tuesday. "This is a place that I want to be and there's a lot of good people in this organization and obviously winning last year you want to be part of a winning organization. It feels good. It feels nice to not have to have a contract to worry about the whole year. But some guys play better in different situations and I've done this before, signing a year earlier and it does help but it doesn't change the goals in mind that you have."

James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.