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Quick analysis: Darth Quaider extended

July 15, 2011

McQuaid at Fenway Park in the 2010 Winter Classic.

News came down today that Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid was re-upped for three years at $1.4 million per, starting in 2012-2013. This is good news for the Bruins.

Much like Marchand, McQuaid was another AHL-er riding the cusp at camp and in the pre-season. But he managed to stick. He is young, and like all defensemen, I see him developing into his prime in the coming years. The fact he and Marchand were both able to step into NHL roles this season is a testament to the system in Providence and the Bruins’ coaching staff. Though McQuaid was initially drafted by Columbus, he’s as Bruin as they come.

With outstanding size and a certain fearlessness, he meets the mold the Chiarelli Bruins. He’s not afraid to throw huge hits, sling his body before 90 mph shots and of course, he will drop the gloves in a heartbeat. He has all the components of a rough and tumble Bruin. He became a fan-favorite too, with a full mullet. He’s quiet, reserved. But it’s clear he’s determined.

He made his blunders. He’s never going to be an offensive star from the blue-line. But he plays a solid, predictable game as a shutdown man. Moving forward, the Bruins are not quite as well stocked in the rear as they are with forwards. It’s important to lock up talent where they can. Kampfer and Bartkowski are the next kids waiting in the wings, and surely they’ll get their chance this year as injuries occur. But McQuaid has demonstrated that he’s a capable NHL defender at this stage. Further seasoning means he’ll make even smarter plays, improve his shot. Whether he’s playing alongside Corvo this year, with Kaberle no longer, remains to be seen. But his size and stature make him versatile. He may continue to be a third-pairing defenseman, but that’s owing mostly to the Bruins’ depth. Growing in a limited role will be beneficial.

But at the moment, it’s a fair price for a growing player, one who has won a Cup with the Bruins and is ready to develop further. He’s sturdy. He won’t quit. He’ll fight for his team, literally and figuratively. He won’t go in a funk. And he generally won’t goof up. His resigning was smart, from both the organization and the player’s perspective.

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