The Bruins announced Friday that they have signed forward Brad Marchand  to a four-year contract extension with an annual salary cap hit of $4.5 million.
Marchand, 24, is entering the final year of a $5 million two-year deal he signed prior to last season. With Marchand locked up, the Bruins’ list of free agents following next season include restricted free agents Milan Lucic , Tyler Seguin , Jordan Caron and Tuukka Rask . Nathan Horton  and Andrew Ference  will be unrestricted free agents.
The 2006 third-round pick posted career-highs in goals (28) assists (27) and points (55) last season. He was second to only Seguin in Bruins goals in 2011-12. A surprise 21-goal-scorer as a rookie in 2010-11, Marchand added 11 more goals in the playoffs during the Bruins’ Stanley Cup  run.
In addition to his speed, two-way play and penalty kill contributions, Marchand is known for his feisty play and tendency to get under opponents’ skin and has thus been suspended twice by the league. He was given two games in 2010-11 for elbowing R.J. Umberger in the back of the head, but his most notable punishment from the league was a five-game suspension for a low-bridge hit on Sami Salo last January against the Canucks.
Even prior to the Marchand signing, Seguin has been the most intriguing of the Bruins’ upcoming free agents. The B’s have only two $5 million forwards (David Krejci  and Patrice Bergeron ), but with the likes of Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall  and Jeff Skinner signing long-term deals with annual average values of $6 million or in the neighborhood ($6 for both Eberle and Hall, $5.725 for Skinner), it would appear the 20-year-old Seguin is due for a hefty pay raise.