PRAGUE -- Patrice Bergeron boasted both a new contract (three years, $15 million) and optimism for the direction of the franchise as both he and general manager Peter Chiarelli adressed reporters in a press conference following Friday's skate. Now 25, Bergeron will play out the last year of his current contract at a $4.75 million cap hit before coming in at $5 million in each of the next three seasons. Bergeron's camp and Chiarelli negotiated the deal throughout the offseason, but the center made clear that he knew the outcome of the negotiations long before the agreement was reached.

PRAGUE -- Having been overseas for just over a week now and with the Bruins' season a day away from beginning, it seemed as good a time as ever to bust out a mailbag (the name of it was not my idea). As was expected, there were a few very similar questions regarding Tyler Seguin and what to expect, so I just went with the first one I got. 

For future mailbags, or for advice on hitting the Belfast or Prague areas in the future, send whatever you've got to djbean@weei.com. 

 



PRAGUE -- The Bruins and center Patrice Bergeron have agreed to a three-year contract extension worth $15 million, the team announced late Friday morning. The deal will carry an annual cap hit of $5 million, making him tied with Tim Thomas for the team's highest cap hit in the 2011-12 season (captain Zdeno Chara remains unsigned following the coming season). RDS was the first to report the agreement.

 

PRAGUE -- According to a tweet from ESPNBoston's James Murphy, the Bruins have tentatively agreed to terms with forward Brian McGrattan, who has been with the team throughout the preseason on a tryout basis. Murphy is reporting that the deal will not be finalized until Monday.

 

PRAGUE -- According to multiple reports, rookie defenseman Matt Bartkowski was notified on Wednesday by general manager Peter Chiarelli that he would be the final player released from Bruins camp before the team opens the regular season with two games against the Coyotes (the team is allowed to carry an extra goalie overseas, but Nolan Schaefer will also likely be sent to Providence before the team begins play in North America).

 

LIBEREC, Czech Republic -- Patrice Bergeron had five points and newcomers Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton scored again as the Bruins finished their preseason with a 7-1 victory over Liberec HC in Liberec, Czech Republic. 

 

Bergeron scored in the second and third periods, while also assisting Seguin's goal, a snipe from the point on the power play, as well as tallies from Jordan Caron and Blake Wheeler. Trade acquisitions Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell also picked up goals in the first and third periods, respectively. 

 

PRAGUE -- Czech Republic native David Krejci has found ways to impress on different levels so far in his NHL career. On the ice, he's a rising star who at 24 years of age may be a year or two from his prime seasons. Off the ice, he's very articulate and insightful when it comes to hockey and different cultures.



BELFAST -- The Bruins got some huge cheers from the Odyssey Arena Saturday night, but after the Belfast Giants took a 1-0 lead on them in the second period, the team made it clear they would end their Northern Ireland trip with more than just fanfare.

 

BELFAST -- Zdeno Chara expressed on Friday his desire to stay with the Bruins beyond this season, the final one of his contract. Though Chara has said throughout the process that he would like to have a contract extension wrapped up before the regular season begins, a source familiar with the negotiations has told WEEI.com that though they are "shooting for" finishing a deal before the Oct. 9 opener against the Coyotes in Prague, they are "not sure it is possible."

 

In their final North American preseason tuneup before getting on a plane for Belfast, Ireland and their season opener on Oct. 9 in Prague, the Bruins dropped a 4-1 decision to the Washington Capitals Wednesday night at TD Garden. 

 

Tim Thomas saw his first action of the preseason and played all 60 minutes, allowing four goals on 24 shots. Niklas Backstrom scored the first two goals before the Capitals built their lead to 4-0 early in the third period.