And then there was just one — restricted free agent remaining for the Boston Bruins to re-sign, that is.
Today defenseman Matt Hunwick left winger Phil Kessel as the only player on the Bruins’ to-do list by signing a new two-year deal, which is worth a reported $2.9 million total.
By agreeing to terms today, the Bruins and Hunwick’s camp avoided arbitration, which had been scheduled to commence Friday. Hunwick came into his own last season — his first full year in the NHL. After not making the team out of camp, he was recalled just a week in and battled through a bit of a logjam on the back end over the course of the season to put up 6-21-27 totals in 53 games. During the playoffs, he underwent an emergency splenectomy after Game 1 against Montreal and was not available to play for the duration.
This leaves the Bruins with somewhere in the ballpark of $3 million to play with as far as signing Kessel or moving him and bringing in someone else. I think this deal furthers my theory that Kessel will agree to a one-year deal — thus making him a Bruin with something to prove (with arbitration rights next year) or an attractive acquisition for another team. But stay tuned for news from the Kessel front. And Hunwick will address the media tomorrow.