The Boston Bruins took care of one of their restricted free agents Tuesday night but, as fair as the deal may have been, it leaves precious few dollars left under the salary cap to get the other two under contract.

Versatile left-shot forward Danton Heinen, who had been scheduled for an arbitration hearing Aug. 3, avoided that process by signing a two-year deal with the Bruins for an average annual value of $2.8 million. He will be an RFA again in the summer of 2022.

According to capfriendly.com, the Bruins now have $7.3 million left under the cap for next season, and that does not appear to be enough to sign the remaining two RFAs – their rising No. 1 defenseman Charlie McAvoy and shutdown defenseman Brandon Carlo.

The most obvious route GM Don Sweeney could take would be to try to find a taker for David Backes’ contract, which has two more years left with an AAV of $6 million. Both Sweeney and Coach Bruce Cassidy said Backes’ best role going forward would be on the fourth line but they also signed possible fourth-line candidates Brett Ritchie, a right wing, and Par Lindholm, a center/left wing.

There also is the issue of Torey Krug’s contractual status. Krug, coming off a terrific Stanley Cup playoffs, has one year left on his contract that has an AAV of $5.25 million. Unless his game falls off a cliff in the 2019-20 season, Krug stands to get a healthy raise, whether it’s from the Bruins or someone else. As much as Krug’s game is valued by the Bruins, who signed the defenseman as a free agent out of Michigan State in 2012 and nurtured his game along the way, it is not out of the realm of possibility the team could decide what Krug could get on the open market would be too rich for them and they decide to move him.

However you slice it, the Bruins will need to jettison some money somewhere down the line.

As for Heinen, he had a strong rookie season two years ago in which he had 16 goals and 31 assists. Last season he had a rough first half of the year and his final numbers (11-23-34) tailed off from his rookie campaign, but he had a strong second half of the season, filling in for an injured David Pastrnak on the top line. His solid two-way play also was on display in the playoffs when he played on the right wing on an effective third-line with Charlie Coyle and Marcus Johansson, who just signed with the Buffalo Sabres.

SHARKS: The San Jose Sharks re-signed forwards Dylan Gambrell and Antti Suomela.

Gambrell agreed to a two-year deal, and Suomela to a one-year contract. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

CANADIENS: The Montreal Canadiens re-signed Finnish forwards Joel Armia and Artturi Lehkonen to two-year contracts.

STARS: The Dallas Stars re-signed center Jason Dickinson to a $3 million, two-year contract, bringing back an emerging leader after he established career highs in scoring and playing time.

Dickinson was a solid playoff performer in his postseason debut as the Stars reached the second round before losing a Game 7 to eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis. He had five points (three goals, two assists) in 13 games.

The 24-year-old Dickinson had career highs in goals (six), assists (16) and points (22) while averaging the most minutes in his four seasons (13).

PENGUINS: Center Matt Cullen has retired after a 21-season career that included three Stanley Cup titles.

The 42 year-old won a Cup with Carolina in 2006 and then consecutive titles with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017.

Cullen had 266 goals, 465 assists and 502 penalty minutes over 1,516 games with Anaheim, Florida, Carolina, the New York Rangers, Ottawa, Minnesota, Nashville and Pittsburgh. He also had 19 goals and 39 assists in 132 career playoff games.


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