Free agent forward Danton Heinen is still on a professional tryout with the Bruins almost a month into the season, but it appears that’s about to change. The 28-year-old took full line rushes with the Bruins at practice this morning, indicating a contract signing could come ahead of Monday’s game against the Panthers.
The 6-foot-1, 188-pound winger is expected to make his return to Beantown in a fourth-line role with John Beecher and Oskar Steen if he does sign, with Patrick Brown sitting out. The Bruins currently have nearly $1.5MM in cap space to play with – forward Milan Lucic is on long-term injured reserve due to a lower-body injury, giving GM Don Sweeney some flexibility he’s yet to have this season. Heinen, a fourth-round pick of the Bruins in 2014, amassed 103 points in 220 contests with the team before they traded him to the Ducks during the 2019-20 season.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference this morning:
- Islanders defenseman Scott Mayfield returned to practice today for the first time since sustaining a foot injury early this month, according to Stefen Rosner of The Hockey News. However, he’s not yet ready to return to game action and will miss an eighth straight game against the Red Wings tonight, instead likely aiming for a return against the Capitals on Thursday. The 6-foot-5 defender, already 30 years old, is beginning a seven-year extension earning him $3.5MM per season. The Islanders are off to a decent 4-2-1 start but have struggled to control play, and their 48.3% expected goals share (per MoneyPuck) ranks 22nd in the league. They’ve yet again received spectacular netminding from Ilya Sorokin and Semyon Varlamov.
- The Penguins have once again recalled Vinnie Hinostroza and Radim Zohorna from AHL Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, and they participated in practice this morning, per Penguins play-by-play announcer Josh Getzoff. The two were papered down after the Penguins’ last game, helping the team bank cap space on off days while netminder Alex Nedeljkovic remains on LTIR. Zohorna has two points through four contests this season, while Hinostroza has yet to make his Penguins debut.