The Boston Bruins have locked up another one of their restricted free agents. The team announced Tuesday morning that they have re-signed forward Karson Kuhlman to a two-year contract that carries an annual salary cap hit of $725,000. The contract is a two-way for the 2020-21 season and a one way for 2021-22.
Kuhlman, 25, had one goal and five assists in 25 games with the Boston Bruins this past season. The Esko, Minnesota native and former Minnesota-Duluth star, who helped the Bulldogs win the 2018 National Championship, has four goals and seven assists in 36 NHL games. In 13 Stanley Cup playoffs games, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound pesky forward has a goal and two assists.
Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney had indicated on Saturday that he was close to signing Kuhlman and fellow restricted free agent Zach Senyshyn.
“Those are both ongoing. We’ve had continued talks with them and I don’t think they’re far off from being resolved,” Sweeney said following the Matt Grzelcyk signing Saturday.
With defenseman Matt Grzelcyk signed to a four-year, $14.75 million contract this past weekend and now Kuhlman putting pen to paper, the Bruins now have Senyshyn and forward Jake DeBrusk as their remaining two restricted free agents left to sign. There have been no updates on the latter as DeBrusk continues to find himself in the center of trade rumors.
DeBrusk’s name has been linked to the Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers as the Bruins reportedly continue to search for another left-shot defenseman and potentially another top six forward.
With the Grzelcyk and Kuhlman signings, the Boston Bruins now have $7.3 in salary cap space to sign Senyshyn, DeBrusk and potentially unrestricted free agent Zeno Chara. They will have the option to gain some space by placing injured forwards Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak on long-term injury reserve but Sweeney didn’t seem keen on doing that when asked about it this past Saturday.
“It’s always an option for us,” Sweeney said. “We don’t necessarily foresee if we’ll have to utilize it. But not unlike last year and the 16 or so other teams that went through the season with injuries that impact your lineup, you may have to utilize that.”