Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is working his way down his offseason checklist, but things are about to get more difficult.
Sweeney and the Bruins locked up young two-way forward Danton Heinen to a two-year contract extension. The restricted forward is signed through the 2020-21 season with a $2.8 million salary cap hit, the team announced late Tuesday night.
Sweeney has said all summer that the Bruins’ top priority this offseason was to re-sign their top RFAs: Heinen, Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.
Getting Heinen done sets the table for the two defensemen, but Sweeney and the Bruins don’t currently have a ton of money to throw around. According to CapFriendly.com, the Bruins now have just over $7.35 million in salary cap space for the upcoming 2019-20 season. McAvoy alone is expected to fetch upwards of $6 million per season and could even exceed $7 million. Even if McAvoy lands a deal on the low end — let’s say $6.5 million cap hit — that doesn’t leave a whole lot of money for Carlo, who could land in the $4 million neighborhood.
Obviously, that leaves the Bruins in an bind, because they need to find some money. How they’ll go about doing that remains to be seen, but Sweeney certainly can’t put up his feet for the summer just yet.