Updated with Bitz’s comments.
The Boston Bruins have announced they have signed winger Byron Bitz, a restricted free agent, to a two-year deal.
With his wedding just two weeks away, the timing of the new contract couldn’t have come at a better time for Bitz.
“Well, it’s exciting for me. It’s a good feeling to have it done relatively early,” said Bitz, 24, when reached this afternoon by TheBruinsBlog.net. “And now I’ll be able to go back and focus on training and be able to get ready for camp in September.”
In his first NHL season, Bitz posted 4-3-7 totals in 35 games. He added an element of toughness the Bruins needed on their fourth line when called up. He said that his agent had been speaking with the Bruins pretty much since last season ended and he wasn’t worried about how things would unfold. And the good news is that he didn’t spend much time idling away the time and thinking about his breakthrough season.
“I’ve been doing quite a lot of strength training and the normal summer routine,” he said. “I don’t like to sit around too long after the season ends. I like to get back into my routine and make sure I improve my strength for next year.”
Bitz said he’s being careful to not add so much strength that he sacrifices speed, just as the Bruins recommended in his year-end interview. And any questions about his dedication can easily be completely eliminated when you learn that after his wedding, he won’t be going on his honeymoon until next summer so he can get back to workouts and on-ice training.
“I just want to keep building on what happened the last half of last year and keep it going this year,” he said.