Bruins

NHL Notebook: What’s next for Bruins following Marcus Johansson’s departure, is David Backes’ contract immovable?

(Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

When Don Sweeney acknowledged on Monday that the Bruins had not extended a contract offer to their top unrestricted free agent in Marcus Johansson, it was a hard pill to swallow — with a team that came within just one game of a Cup title now forced to look internally to replace a versatile winger that formed an effective tandem with Charlie Coyle in a bottom-six role. 

But it was a result that, as painful as it was, was not totally unexpected. With just a little over $10 million in cap space to work with for the rest of the summer and three RFAs still to be signed, it seemed that Boston was going to be out of the running before bidding even got underway for Johansson — a sentiment that appeared to be validated by Sweeney’s comments. 

After all, after a fantastic playoff run in which Johansson tallied 11 points over 22 postseason matchups, Johansson, 28, was poised to cash in with what could have been his last major, long-term contract on the open market, with a deal headlined by an AAV of $5 million-plus or more standing as a possibility. 

Well, such wasn’t the case after all. Five days after the free-agency frenzy opened up in the NHL, Johansson has finally found a new home — and for great value.