Are the Colorado Avalanche a Fit for Linus Ullmark?

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During the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline, the Boston Bruins were rumored to be interested in moving on from reigning Vezina goaltender Linus Ullmark. The unfortunate part for Boston was Ullmark’s no-trade clause, which he used to block a trade prior to the deadline.

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The Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, New Jersey Devils, and Ottawa Senators were among the teams interested in Ullmark’s services. I had previously written on the ‘fit’ for the Ullmark and the Senators; if you’re interested in that deal/package, view it here. Now onto the Avalanche, a team who is NOT afraid to get their hands dirty and make bold moves to improve their roster. This offseason is going to be a tricky one for Avs general manager Chris McFarland. Landeskog still unsure if he will be able to return? Nichuskin suspended and in the NHL Players Assistance Program? Georgiev underwhelming? What’s the contract for Rantanen and Mittelstadt? There will be a lot of balls in the air and all chips on the table for that Avalanche as they look to get themselves back in competition for a Stanley Cup.

Where’s the fit for Colorado?

For Colorado, their goaltending wasn’t a bright spot last season and has been a position needing improvement for more than five years. The Avs thought bringing in Georgiev from the Rangers would’ve brought some stability and winning prowess between the pipes to keep their winning culture going. And to some extent, he did exactly that. But following their Stanley Cup victory, the Avalanche want more than just keeping the winning culture going. They want to compete for a Stanley Cup.

Georgiev is currently headed into the final year of his $3.4m AAV contract with the Avalanche. The contract itself is not a mammoth to move. With a GAA of 3.02 and a SV% of .897, that may take some convincing. There are plenty of teams looking for goaltending depth who may give Georgiev a chance, but you may have to entice someone to do so.

Alexandar Georgiev Stats

Assuming the Avalanche are going to move on from Georgiev, or at the very least want to bring in another netminder to solidify the tandem. Linus Ullmark fits the bill for the Avs. Aside from posting impressive stat lines over the last few seasons with Boston including winning the Vezina Trophy, Ullmark has adjusted to playing in front of a defensive unit in Boston that is built around shot visibility. With a defensive core of Makar, Toews, Girard, and Manson, you can assume Ullmark would be set up for success in Colorado as well.

What would a trade take?

With the Boston Bruins looking to add young talent to their roster, primarily centers, or high-end draft capital, a trade will be somewhat difficult. But there are some options.

With Colorado having an abundance of centers in the organization, they have some flexibility to make a move. They just need to make some decisions on players needing contract extensions. Miko Rantanen is on the final year of his $9.25m AAV contract and can sign an extension on July 1, Casey Mittlelstadt, recently acquired via trade from the Buffalo Sabres, is now a Restricted Free Agent who is arbitration eligible, and of course the health of Captain Gabriel Landeskog could play a major factor into the players Colorado is willing to part with assets down the middle.

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I’ve recently seen some trade rumors floating around X mentioning Samuel Girard and Alexander Georgiev in exchange for Linus Ullmark. This made me laugh. In this scenario, the Bruins would be doing the Avalanche a MAJOR favor by giving them roughly $3.4m in cap savings and handing them a major upgrade in net. Yes, Sam Girard is a good player, but he’s struggled to put a full 82 games together since his rookie campaign. He’s also not jumping off the scoresheet on a nightly basis, nor a center the Bruins desperately need.

This trade rumor is just that, a rumor. I’m not buying it.

But since we are indulging in the hypothetical, what does make sense for Boston?

If you’re the Boston Bruins, I don’t think you’re getting Casey Mittelstadt or Mikko Rantanen. So what’s the next best thing? Could a package of the Avalanche 2024 first-round pick along with Miles Wood be enough to entice the Bruins?

Colorado’s Take: Colorado desperately needs to upgrade their goaltending. Outside of their first rounder this year, they don’t have many enticing draft picks. Adding Miles Wood into the deal, assuming trade protection isn’t an issue, would give the Bruins something they are looking for. Valuable depth scoring. Esepcially from Wood, who is a player coveted by Bruins management in the past.

Related Post: Boston Bruins Move on From Goalie Prospect. What’s Next?

Boston’s Take: Ullmark moving to a team in the Eastern Conference could turn out to be a nightmare for the Bruins in the long run. Moving him to the Western Conference, even if you feel this trade is a little ‘light’ on value, may be the best choice. This trade on the surface would create approx. $2.5m in cap space, adding a depth scoring winger in Wood, and adding a first round draft pick. Boston’s first choice in the 2024 Draft is currently in the fourth round. Regardless if using the pick or trading it for another player, that’s a valuable asset.

My Thoughts

I don’t see the Bruins getting a complete ransom for Linus Ullmark. Yes, there are teams looking to add goaltending and Ullmark seems to be the best asset on the market. However, everyone knows Boston’s situation and needing to move on from Ullmark financially, no one is going to offer you a King’s Ransom for that.

If my trade proposal of Miles Wood and the COL 2024 first round pick was a legitimate offer, I’d hope the Bruins use this as a ‘check-down’ deal and look for something a little better. Even if the Bruins need to add a pick or prospect along with Ullmark to improve the deal, Don Sweeney needs to get his center depth fixed.

Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline Bruins Benders Podcast

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  1. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  2. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  3. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
  4. Season 3. Episode 45. After the Hugs Are Gone
  5. Season 3. Episode 44. Yay Or Nay

Connor Green

Managing Editor | Inside the Rink

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