The Bruins signed one of their restricted free agents for short money, but it is not a deal that will have fans doing backflips in their front yards.
Winger Peter Cehlarik will return on a two-way deal for one year at $700,000, according to CapFriendly. The club remains at a standoff with RFAs Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Danton Heinen, the latter of whom filed for arbitration on Friday.
Cehlarik, who turns 24 on August 2, also had arbitration rights, but elected not to take the Bruins to a mediator. He received a trimming from his entry-level deal, which paid out $742,500 a year in his first three seasons.
He played in 20 games last year, recording four goals and two assists. After scoring twice in his season debut, Jan. 16 at Philadelphia, he skated with the varsity for a month solid. He was in and out of the lineup afterward and was reassigned to Providence in mid-March.
A third-round pick (90th overall) in 2013, the playmaking Slovak brought size (6 feet, 2 inches and 203 pounds) and strength to the Bruins’ attack, but his puck management and positioning caused him to fall out of favor with coach Bruce Cassidy and his staff. He has played in 37 games (5-5–10) over three seasons.
He will enter 2019-20 battling for a roster spot with fellow young wings like Karson Kuhlman, Ryan Fitzgerald, Zach Senyshyn and Anders Bjork; AHL veteran Paul Carey; and July 1 signings Brett Ritchie, Par Lindholm and Brendan Gaunce. The Bruins, who lost skilled third-liner Marcus Johansson to the Sabres in free agency and heavy fourth-liner Noel Acciari to the Panthers, could have at least two spots on the wings up for grabs. That’s barring a swap of third-line center Charlie Coyle to the wing, which the Bruins could consider if they deem center prospects Trent Frederic or Jack Studnicka ready for full-time work.