Bruins notebook

Savard’s new number: $28m

Seven-year deal is cap-friendly

By Kevin Paul Dupont and Brendan Hall
Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent / December 2, 2009

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Crafty center Marc Savard, the Bruins’ top point producer, officially added to his bounty yesterday by tacking a string of eight numbers and a dollar sign next to his career production totals with a seven-year, $28.05 million contract extension beginning in 2010-11.

The Globe reported yesterday that Savard, 32, was poised to sign the deal, and the club announced the extension yesterday afternoon. General manager Peter Chiarelli and Savard, who signed here as a free agent in July 2006, will address the media this morning at the Garden, where the Bruins tonight will face the Tampa Bay Lightning.

According to sources familiar with the contract terms, Savard will earn $7 million each of the next two years - a 40 percent bump over his average earnings the last four seasons - and he’ll earn approximately another $14 million over the final five years of the deal for a total of some $28.05 million.

The economical cap hit of $4.007 million is ostensibly $1 million lower than the salary space Savard has consumed on the Boston payroll the last four years. Playing out the final three years of the deal, when his actual salary will average only $850,000 per annum, is probably unrealistic.

If he instead were to retire, and eschew the $2.55 million total earnings in the final three years of the deal, then the $4.007 million cap hit would be deleted from Boston’s payroll. Or, if he wanted to keep playing and the Bruins didn’t want him, he could be bought out for a mere $1.85 million, payable over six years. The Bruins would still be obligated to carry a cap figure for the next six years, through 2019-20, but it would be reduced from $4.007 million to $1.33 million.

The deal’s annual payouts: $7 million, $7 million, $6.5 million, $5 million, $1.5 million, $525,000, and $525,000. Total: $28.05 million.

Viewed as a four-year deal, Savard will earn $25.5 million, for an average $6.375 million, with the Bruins assessed only $4.007 million on the cap.

Bouncing back
Patrice Bergeron said he’s “feeling fine’’ after getting banged up in the first period of last Saturday’s 4-3 shootout win over Ottawa, taking a Filip Kuba slap shot off his right leg and landing awkwardly. Bergeron, who did not address the media following the game and was given a day off Monday for “maintenance,’’ said the puck hit him a little above the knee.

“Not much fat, not much skin, goes through that area, so I’m pretty happy I didn’t get it right on the bone,’’ he said yesterday, following practice in Wilmington.

One of tonight’s key matchups against Tampa Bay will be Bergeron in the faceoff circle against most likely Vincent Lecavalier. Bergeron ranks behind only Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (340) and Colorado’s Paul Statsny (300) in faceoffs won, with 295; he also ranks seventh in the league in faceoff percentage (57.7).

“Bergie’s just a force in there. He’s a determined player in there,’’ said coach Claude Julien. “He takes that part of the game very seriously, and guys that bear down usually do.’’

Bergeron’s technique?

“I always like to read what the other centerman likes to do, watch their sticks, or whether they’re real quick or strong guys,’’ he said. “You just try to switch it up depending on who you’re up against. You try to work on your first, second, and third try, because you’re not always going to win clean, and you’ve got to be fast with your arms and also be strong.’’

As for Lecavalier?

“He’s pretty quick, actually,’’ Bergeron said. “I can’t tell you what I’m going to do, though.’’

Reunion arena
Tonight’s game should yield another opportunity for Tim Thomas to catch up with one of his old University of Vermont teammates, Martin St. Louis. The two were key components on the Catamounts’ Frozen Four team in 1996, but their career trajectories have been different. St. Louis won a Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004, while Thomas didn’t become an NHL regular until after the lockout. “In one way, it’s fun because you get to see an old friend,’’ Thomas said. “But in another way, it’s not that much fun because you’re competing against someone you once competed with as a teenager.’’ . . . The Bruins worked on some four-on-three drills yesterday morning, something not often practiced. “Now that we’re playing a team that’s taken a lot of penalties in the past, you’ve got to prepare for everything,’’ Julien said.

Brendan Hall reported from Wilmington.

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