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The Bruins Need To Pick A Goaltender

Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman hugging after a Bruins win.
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Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur once said, “Goalies often react quickly to shots with no regard for what might happen to their body because we are trained to stop pucks first and ask questions later.” Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark followed a Vezina Trophy-worthy season by playing with a nagging injury in the first round of the playoffs. With capable backup Jeremy Swayman available to spell Ullmark at any moment, Head Coach Jim Montgomery elected to keep Ullmark in the net for the first six games of the series against heavy underdog Florida. The result was a blown 3-1 series lead culminating in a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 7, Swayman’s first start of the series.

This was the second postseason in a row that Swayman replaced Ullmark during a first-round series. Ullmark had a brilliant regular season, leading the NHL in wins, goals-against average, and save percentage. Swayman was arguably the best backup in the league, with four shutouts and a .920 save percentage. The former round draft pick of the Bruins is now a restricted free agent. Ullmark is in year two of his contract, worth $5 million per season. The 29-year-old netminder can provide a 16-team No-Trade List that halves the number of potential trade partners. With Swayman seeking a big raise, Boston has to decide how much to invest in their goaltending tandem.

As the Bruins unceremoniously entered the off-season, General Manager Don Sweeney told the media that the roster would see significant changes. One name that has been bandied about in potential trade rumors is Ullmark. The market for Swayman could be upwards of $4 million per season. The salary cap-strapped Bruins have very little room to sign players to fill the spots necessary for next season. This could make paying two goaltenders roughly $9 million an impossible task. Therefore who do the Bruins continue with, the veteran Ullmark or the 24-year-old Swayman? The choice is tricky.

The logical solution is to see if the Bruins can find a good deal with one of the remaining teams for Ullmark. Boston does not have a first-round pick in this year’s draft or next year, for that matter. Trading the 6-foot-5 goalie could bring a return of a package of draft picks and/or prospects. The Bruins could then sign Swayman to a multi-year deal and bring along rookie netminder Brandon Bussi to be the backup. Bussi was 22-5-4 for the Bruins’ American Hockey League affiliate Providence Bruins this season.

Boston also possesses a deep goalie prospect pool with Kyle Keyser, Philip Svedeback, and Michael DiPietro in the system. The organization could also use the return for Ullmark to continue a rebuild of their farm system.

The prediction here is that Ullmark is dealt if the Bruins get the right return. Swayman then signs a three-to-four-year extension with the team. The Bruins get assets in return, and Swayman is the starter in Boston for years to come.

Season 2. Episode 38. Special Guest Terrence Wallin Bruins Benders Podcast

Maine Mariners Coach Terrence Wallin makes a return visit to recap the season. Should the Bruins make room for Tyler Bertuzzi? Will the Bruins move some core pieces? I guess there is more time for golf and more! 
  1. Season 2. Episode 38. Special Guest Terrence Wallin
  2. Season 2. Episode 37. It’s Going To Be A Long Off-Season
  3. Season 2. Episode 36. Time For Recovery.
  4. Season 2. Episode 35. Season Ending Game 7 Recap.
  5. Season 2. Episode 34. Game 6 Recap.

2 thoughts on “The Bruins Need To Pick A Goaltender

  1. That makes sense to trade Ullmark for the best return they have no choice . It could come back to haunt them in the future but who know what tomorrow will bring . Toronto would pay a ####load but that wouldn’t make Bruins fans very happy . I thought all Toronto needed was a better goalie even though #IMABRUINFORLIFE it’s sad to see The Maple Leaf fans to suffer so much as l saw rears in there eyes when the won the first round . They were almost content with that . Sad time for Bruins unless they so pull the trigger with Ullmark .

  2. makes sense and financially Bruins had the most magical season BECAUSE they had ull and sway. both were able to keep each other rested and not cold. We wont ever see this again for this team and removing it was their downfall in the playoffs. If it aint broke, dont fix it.. well they tried fixing it in round 1 and look what it got them.. but thats yesterdays news, time to move on. We cant keep em both, we will never have as fantastic of a season, back to reality. Swayman is the logical choice for the teams future. Ullmark will fetch more coming off the season he had, but also wont produce the same ever again. Do other teams know that though? HIGHLY likely. So its ore a question of what can you get for who? I think Swayman is worth more, personally, so you gt more if you trade him, but you cant do that unless you sign him first. its a ying and yang. So the Bs only option would be to let Ullmark go and get what they get. Is he a great goalie? hes ok, is he worth what everyone thinks? no, not unless Swayman comes along for the ride (or another tandem).

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