NHL: Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs

Boston Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo on Wednesday re-signed for six more seasons.

As the Boston Bruins head into what figures to be a busy part of an active offseason, they checked one large item off of their to-do list.

On Wednesday, restricted free agent Brandon Carlo and the club agreed to a six-year deal worth $4.1 million per year against the salary cap Wednesday. As a restricted free agent, the 24-year-old defenseman needed to be protected from the expansion draft either way so there was no motivation to wait to sign him.

“The Bruins are very pleased to have extended Brandon on a long-term deal,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said in a release issued by the team. “Brandon is a player who has grown into a foundational defenseman with our team while also emerging as an important leader on and off the ice.”

The 6-foot-4, 227-pound Colorado Springs native had three goals and one assist in 27 games last year while averaging 18:43 per game. He missed large stretches of the regular season and four postseason games with concussions, but when healthy, he’s one of the team’s best defensive-minded blueliners and a stalwart on the penalty kill.

Carlo gives the Bruins three defensemen who are assured to be in black and gold in 2021-22. He, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk are certain to be the three defensemen protected from the Seattle Kracken in the expansion draft.

Carlo’s late-season partner Mike Reilly is an unrestricted free agent. Reilly expressed interest in returning to Boston, but there won’t likely be movement on negotiations until after the expansion draft.

Kevan Miller retires

After a career defined by toughness but hampered by injuries, defenseman Kevan Miller announced his retirement from hockey Wednesday.

Miller, 33, played seven seasons in the NHL, all with Boston. He was an inspirational story for the 2020-21 Bruins, working his way back to the ice after a knee injury that required multiple surgeries that forced him to miss the end of the 2018-19 season and all of 2019-20.

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