By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
As the Boston Bruins continue to work on getting their restricted free agents signed, they also continue to shore up their depth. The latest to be signed is winger Peter Cehlarik.
According to top NHL salary cap source CapFriendly, the Bruins have retained Cehlarik on a one-year, two-way contract, meaning he will be paid different amounts to play in the NHL or AHL with the Providence Bruins. His total NHL salary would be $700,000, compared to $125,000 for the minors. But per CapFriendly, $150,000 is guaranteed as part of the deal. (UPDATE: The Bruins confirmed the Cehlarik signing on Monday.)
Cehlarik, similar to key pieces like Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Danton Heinen, was a restricted free agent. He opted to sign the one-year deal as opposed to filing for salary arbitration, which Heinen did over the weekend.
The presumption is that McAvoy and Carlo will both sign long-term extensions and Heinen will come to an agreement around the same time. But re-signing Cehlarik gives the Bruins added forward depth on the left side.
Cehlarik, 23, gives the Bruins an element of size (6-foot-2, 202 pounds) that they lack at left wing. He already has 37 NHL games under his belt, so he's no stranger to playing at the highest level.
It's not the kind of move fans are still hoping for the Bruins to make, but GM Don Sweeney has proven adept at maintaining depth among his skaters that has allowed the team to keep rolling even amid serious injuries to their core. Clearly, Sweeney won't be able to do anything significant (if he even wants to) until after he knows the cost of re-signing McAvoy, Carlo, and Heinen. And even then, he'll need to find a way to clear David Backes or another high-priced player off the books.
But if he couldn't do that last part by now, it's unlikely he will at this point. So for the Bruins to find a consistent top-6 winger, they may need to look internally. Hopefully they're not depending on Cehlarik, who is a fine depth piece but far from what they really need, to be that guy.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].