The Boston Bruins on Tuesday began reaping the rewards of the Phil Kessel trade, at least indirectly, as they re-signed forward Milan Lucic to a three-year contract extension. Lucic would have been a restricted free agent next summer because he was in the last year of his three-year entry-level contract.
A source told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun the deal was worth $12.25 million over three years. Lucic will earn $4 million in each of the next two years and $4.25 million in 2012-13.
It's safe to say the contract would have been harder to fit under the salary cap had the Bruins met Kessel's demands. Boston traded Kessel, a restricted free agent, to Toronto last month after the sides failed to reach an agreement, and Kessel promptly signed a five-year, $27 million contract with the Maple Leafs.
Last season, just his second in the NHL, Lucic emerged as the Bruins' top-line left wing, playing alongside center Marc Savard and Kessel. In 151 career games, the 21-year-old Lucic has posted 25-45--70 totals and 230 penalty minutes.
General manager Peter Chiarelli and Lucic will hold a news conference to discuss the deal after Wednesday's practice in Wilmington, Mass.