NHL champion Bruins in good shape for future

BOSTON (AP) - The long-term contract the Boston Bruins gave Tim Thomas seemed like a big waste of money just a year ago. They even explored trading him.

Now, after one of the greatest performances by a goalie in the history of the Stanley Cup finals, that deal looks golden. And there's more good news on the contract front for the NHL champions.

Only three players on the team that beat the Vancouver Canucks in seven games are unrestricted free agents and one of them, Mark Recchi, is retiring. The only restricted free agent is playoff star Brad Marchand, and the Bruins aren't about to let him get away.

Coach Claude Julien, overshadowed through much of the postseason and in danger of dismissal if Boston didn't get past the second round, isn't going anywhere either. His assistants also are under contract.