The Bruins may be on the verge of getting priced out of the Marcus Johansson sweepstakes.
Acquired from New Jersey in exchange for a 2019 second-round pick and 2020 fourth-round draft pick and a key part of Boston’s postseason run to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, Johansson has an ‘aggressive market’ that includes up to 10 teams at least, according to TSN hockey insider Darren Dreger.
Aggressive market interest in Bruins forward Marcus Johansson. 10+ teams have checked in. Has to be looking forward to a raise on the $4.6 million he made this season.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 29, 2019
The Bruins have remained in contact with Johansson’s camp, but it’s been difficult for the Bruins to map out much of anything when it comes to dollars and years due to their complicated restricted free agency situation, headlined by Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy, but also featuring third-line defensive forward Danton Heinen.
With a significant chunk of their $12 million in available cap space eaten up by those three players, overextending for the 28-year-old Johansson, who is due a significant raise from the $4.583 million per year he made over the course of a three-year contract spent in Washington, Jersey, and Boston, remains an unlikely play for the Bruins.
But Sweeney has not ruled out the possibility of going above their ceiling to make it work for a perfect fit.
“Marcus is an example,” Sweeney said when asked about the potential of temporarily going over the cap this summer and shedding salary when the season comes closer. “We’re talking to representatives. If that means you have a cushion during the summer time, so there are areas that you can try to improve your team within reason, but RFA has been a part of that plan. So, I’m not going to overextend ourselves unless it was something we felt was the perfect fit for our hockey club at this time.”
Johansson recorded one goal and three points in 10 regular-season games with the Bruins, but found his groove as a third-line fit with Charlie Coyle in the postseason, where he recorded four goals and 11 points in 22 contests.