Boychuk returns just before lockout ends

Boychuk returns just before lockout ends
January 6, 2013, 3:39 pm
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It was a case of good timing for Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk.

The 28-year-old Bruins defenseman had decided to take a break from his stint in Austria playing for the Salzburg Red Bulls this weekend, and he arrived back in Boston on Saturday. Then Boychuk awoke to the news on Sunday that the NHL and NHLPA had reached a tentative agreement on a 10-year CBA that will effectively end the lockout and start the 2013 season within two weeks.

Boychuk replied to CSNNE.com that it was awesome when asked how it felt going back to work in Black and Gold, but also said he enjoyed his time playing in the Austrian Hockey League. Boychuk was one of the last Bruins players to head overseas after waiting things out with players like Daniel Paille, Greg Campbell, Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.

It was really nice in Austria. Beautiful country, said Boychuk. The hockey was different, but it was still okay. Itll be nice to start the season here, though.

Boychuk finished with eight points in 15 games for the Red Bulls along with a plus-11 rating, and should be in excellent shape, ready to jump right into NHL action upon his return. Once the NHL begins its shortened schedule, Boychuk will be starting the first season of a three-year, 10.10 million contract that he signed during the 2012-13 season.

The Bruins have nearly a full defenseman corps (Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference, Dougie Hamilton and Boychuk) that has been playing hockey over the last three months, which is an overwhelming positive as the NHL season will start quickly.

Boychuk finished with 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 77 games along with a career-best plus-27 in the 2011-12 season.