Have the Boston Bruins Made Their Net Decision? Ullmark Is Probably An Off-Season Trade Prospect

According to Rob Couch, the Bruins have made Jeremy Swayman their clear starter for the postseason, starting him in nine of their ten games. This decision suggests that Linus Ullmark will probably be leaving this off-season.

The Boston Bruins have decided on their goalie after deliberating between Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman throughout the entire season and even starting the playoffs that way.

Swayman was the superior goalie this time around, getting a few more starts than Ullmark, who had the stronger season in 2022–2023 and won the Vezina Trophy. As a result, Swayman was given the call in the Bruins’ 1st-round victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Breaking the Bruins Trend
In order to avoid disrupting the Bruins’ winning run throughout the season, Jim Montgomery and company began Ullmark in Game 2, which led to a defeat. After that, Swayman shut it down and has started eight of the previous nine games, including two straight games where he gave up four goals or more.

The Bruins returned to Swayman immediately after suffering another setback in the second round, this time from a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Florida Panthers. Although it’s not ideal for Swayman to give up nine goals in two games, the Bruins haven’t done much to support their goalie in the previous two series games. In Game 3, the Panthers scored four goals while on the power play, and some strange bounces went along with it.

After Swayman stopped 63 of 66 shots and gave up three goals in the first two games versus Toronto, the goaltender back-and-forth between them was finally settled. Ullmark made just one post-season start and let up three goals in a defeat. Swayman’s first-round save percentage of.950 ensured that the Bruins’ biggest fear—that they would fall short of expectations once more by not advancing past the first round as the top seed—was unfounded.

Time of Ullmark’s Stay in Boston is Running Out
Although the Bruins have found success in the past several seasons with Swayman and Ullmark, this was back when Swayman was still a young starter and didn’t come at a high cost. Both are now excellent NHL starters, and it is impractical to pay them both while holding onto them and failing to properly address the rest of the roster.

This is not to argue that it was a terrible idea to run it back with both this season. Swayman hadn’t previously produced a performance similar to the ones he’s been putting on in the postseason this year. He has now established himself as a starter and is well-liked in Boston after starting 43 games during the regular season, more than the current Vezina winner, and all but one of the playoff games.

Before becoming a UFA, Ullmark has one more season left on his $5 million annual cap hit. With that kind of money, the Bruins could have avoided trading Taylor Hall or losing players like Tyler Bertuzzi in the off-season.

Ullmark’s contract includes a 16-team no-trade list that changes to a 14-team no-trade clause for the 2024–2025 season. The Bruins, however, can make due with this because there are enough teams in need of reliable goalkeeping assistance, and Boston may be the only team in that regard.

It was even claimed that the Bruins are looking for a deal to go on with Swayman as their starter, since Ullmark blocked a trade to the Los Angeles Kings prior to the trade deadline.

Despite being eligible to sign an extension on July 1, 2022, Swayman’s signing to a deal for this season wasn’t a straightforward process; it took until August 1, 2023. The Bruins, with very little money to spend, agreed to an arbitration-based one-year contract worth $3.475 million. That implies that, having assumed the starting position, he is now again eligible for a contract and will want a higher salary than Ullmark. Swayman has every right to do so because he is younger and has shown to be better this season, and that makes logic.

With their current squad, the Bruins undoubtedly want to remain competitive, therefore it doesn’t make sense to spend so much money on a tandem when one can do the same function just as well. Swayman can start more than 50 games if he can start 43.

Notwithstanding Swayman and Ullmark’s relationship, the NHL is a business, and the objective is to win. Regardless of what has transpired during the regular season, these two have not triumphed together. Because Swayman is excellent in net, this is the part of the team that may be changed to free up cap space without having a significant detrimental effect.

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