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Jurcina Will Return Next Season

Defenseman Milan Jucina, acquired from the Bruins for a conditional pick on Feb. 1, has earned a spot in Washington next season, General Manager George McPhee confirmed this morning.

Jurcina will play in Boston for the first time as an opposing player tonight, so he was quite popular with the local media after the morning skate at TD Banknorth Garden.

"I didn't ask for" the trade, said Jurcina, who is on a one year deal that pays him $500,000. "But when you are playing five minutes a game, you are looking for a change, for a new start."

Well, that's exactly what the 23-year-old got in Washington. And he's made the most of that second chance. In fact, he's led all Caps defensemen in ice time in 11 of his first 18 games here.

McPhee wouldn't be specific when I asked him whether he plans to simply extend Jurcina a qualifying offer, or sign him to a multi-year deal.

I'll have more on Jurcina's return to Boston in tomorrow's paper.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  March 15, 2007; 12:10 PM ET
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