The Bruins lost yet another piece to their Stanley Cup lineup.
Marcus Johansson signed with the Sabres on Saturday for two years and $9 million, a $4.5 million cap hit over the course of the two seasons.
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said on July 1 the team hadn’t extended an offer to Johansson, who reportedly was mulling offers from several NHL clubs.
The Bruins acquired Johansson from the Devils for a second round pick this season and a fourth next year. He scored a goal with two assists in 10 regular season games before 22 in the postseason with four goals and seven assists.
Johansson worked at times on the top power play unit in the postseason but was primarily on the second. He helped shore up the winger position on the team after the B’s struggled to find consistency, especially outside of the top six, all season.
There was talk Johansson’s postseason performance had priced him out of the Bruins range, with some speculation he might eclipse the $5 million per season mark. Instead, he gets a reasonable deal with one of the Bruins division rivals.
The Bruins still have just $10 million in cap space to work with with three restricted free agents still on the docket to sign. Sweeney said the Bruins were likely done with the free agent market, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see Johansson go.
With that price tag, though, and the Bruins unable to make space to keep what ended up one of the more affordable options on the market, and someone who knew the team.
The Bruins still haven’t addressed replacing Johansson at the wing during July 1 and beyond, with Brett Ritchie and Par Lindholm as their only NHL signings to date.
There’s still time, and more roster moving to do with the restricted free agents, to replace Johansson’s projected production. But, he’ll be in Buffalo under a reasonable deal.