Derek Forbort of the Los Angeles Kings eyes the puck against the Carolina Hurricanes during an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., in January 2020. Forbort signed a deal to join the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. AP file photo

With $20 million to spend in Wednesday’s opening of free agency, we all knew that Boston Bruins’ general manager Don Sweeney would be active.

He did not disappoint.

While still dealing with uncertainty surrounding two of his foundational players — David Krejci and Tuukka Rask — Sweeney cracked the piggy bank wide open and landed five players, filling some crucial needs in the process.

How it all fits together is anyone’s guess at this point.

Sweeney started off the day by inking 6-foot-4, 220-pound penalty killing defenseman Derek Forbort, 29, to a three-year deal worth $3 million a season, the same deal Mike Reilly signed on Tuesday night.

Then Sweeney signed three left-shot forwards who can all play center as well. First it was Erik Haula, 30, for two years at an AAV (annual average value) of $2.375, then Tomas Nosek, 28, for two years with an AAV of $1.75 million. Then came the surprise signing of 33-year-old former Columbus captain Nick Foligno, who can play all three forward positions and inked a two-year deal worth $3.8 million.

The GM saved his biggest deal of the day for last, hauling in former Buffalo goalie Linus Ullmark to a four-year deal worth an AAV of $5 million.

That’s a lot to digest. We will try and make sense of it all, as best we can.

• Let’s start with the goaltending. The tentative plan came into better focus when the Bruins dealt Daniel Vladar, who would have required waivers to be sent to Providence, to Calgary for a 2022 third round pick (they also signed journeyman Troy Grosenick to a two-way deal). The plan now appears to be for Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman splitting duties while leaving room for Rask to return after recuperating from hip surgery. He won’t be ready to return, if he does indeed decide to do that, until January at the earliest.

The 27-year-old Ullmark, who has a no-move clause in the first two years of the deal, posted a 9-6-3 mark and a .917 save percentage on a bad Sabres team. He is clearly not the stopgap goalie many thought the Bruins would sign while Rask recuperated.

If all goes according to plan, Swayman can be sent to Providence without being exposed to waivers and, if he performs well enough, could still be in the postseason mix.

“We just thought with where we were sitting with two young goaltenders, we needed to be prepared, allow Tuukka all the time he needs to get healthy. He just had surgery, he’s doing very well. And we’re just going to go through the process and go from there,” said Sweeney. “We’ve always left the door open for Tuukka to return, and it just allows Jeremy to continue to progress at a natural rate, but also give him an opportunity to be at the NHL level.

“… A little bit of a musical chair shuffle, but for all the right reasons. We just felt we’ve had very strong goaltending. We want to continue to have that. It was a unique opportunity to have Linus join our group. We’re excited about that.”

• Next comes the forward mix. Even with the influx of three quality bottom nine forwards, there remains a haze over the situation given the remaining uncertainty over David Krejci’s status.

Sweeney said that the situation is “completely open-ended” for Krejci, mulling a return home to the Czech Republic or re-signing with the Bruins. Sweeney shed no light on the ongoing conversations he’s had with Krejci, but he had to plan for life with or without the pivot.

“The center ice position is a little by-committee. We’re going to have to do that and allow some players to get into some spots and hopefully perform to what they’re capable of,” said Sweeney. “Obviously, David’s a unique player. He’s been a tremendous Bruin, a highly productive player throughout his entire career and we hope that will continue. But along that timeline of when he sees fit, not when we do. And with Charlie Coyle coming off surgery, we wanted to identify two-position players and, in Nick Foligno’s case, a three-position player. All of them are good on draws all of them are good on penalty kill, some of them have played power-play situations. And providing depth throughout our lineup was really important.”

With just over a $1 million left under the salary cap, the Bruins would have to offload some salary if Krejci and/or Rask want to return. And with all the left shots, Jake DeBrusk’s $3.675 million salary would seem like a natural starting point. Still, creating depth and competition drove these acquisitions, so we shall see.

• Regarding defense, that was the most straightforward get of the day. The Bruins needed a big, minutes-eating, shot-blocking, penalty-killing left shot defenseman who can play 20 minutes a night, and that’s what they got in Forbort. His 115 blocks were fifth in the league among D-men.

• The feel-good story of the day was the inking of Foligno. In 2018, his then 5-year-old daughter Milana received lifesaving open heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital. The institution, to which he gave a $500,000 donation to match the gift he gave Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, and the city has remained close to his heart.

“Boston has a very special place in our heart because of that,” said Foligno, who was also wooed in the free agency process by Patrice Bergeron. “My wife said it was serendipitous in a way, coming back to a place that gave us a chance to be a family in the first place. We’re really looking forward to that bond that was created. We love the doctors and the people in that hospital. We’re looking forward to it. We love the doctors and the people in that hospital. We’re looking forward to playing in front of them, having them cheer us on. I think they were secretly cheering me on from afar, but now they’ll really have a reason to cheer for me, which will be great. And probably even more so to see how well Milana is doing for them, to see her on a more day-to-day basis, will be really special. We’re pretty excited about being back in Boston for that reason.”

Asked which position he expects to play, the versatile Foligno joked, “I think I’ve heard everything but goalie.”

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