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Bruins and Jeremy Swayman Skip Arbitration, Focus on Extension

The Boston Bruins and goaltender Jeremy Swayman have skipped arbitration and the plan is to focus on a contract extension.

Considering how last offseason’s negotiations went between the Boston Bruins and Jeremy Swayman, particularly the two sides going to arbitration was not a process the goaltender enjoyed, it’s perhaps not surprising the two sides avoided repeating the same thing this year. The Bruins and their starting goaltender couldn’t come to terms on a deal and arbitration resulted in a one-year, $3.475 million deal for the then 24-year-old. Now, the two sides have skipped arbitration in 2024 and will focus on getting a long-term deal done.

The arbitration experience left Swayman sour about the process, a sentiment shared by the Bruins. As the deadline to file for arbitration has now passed, both sides have decided to continue negotiating until a deal can be reached. The Bruins have $8.6 million in cap space to work with for Swayman’s contract.

What About an Offer Sheet for Swayman?

The downside of both sides declining arbitration is that, as a restricted free agent (RFA), Swayman holds the potential to sign an offer sheet with another team. Any offer beyond their $8.6 million in space could complicate things for Boston. According to CapFriendly, the teams who could potentially sign Swayman to a deal higher than that are the Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, and Seattle Kraken.

Jeremy Swayman Boston Bruins
Jeremy Swayman Boston Bruins

However, several factors make an offer sheet less likely. The Sabres and Red Wings will have limited cap space once they sign their other restricted free agents. Meanwhile, the Predators and Islanders already have established goaltenders. Offer sheets, in general, are rare.

No Arbitration Is Probably Good News for the Bruins and Swayman

Arbitration is typically used when a player and team cannot agree on a new contract, often centering around salary disputes. Last year, the Bruins and Swayman were too far apart to reach a deal amicably. This year, avoiding arbitration suggests that both parties are closer to finding common ground.

Ultimately, the avoidance of arbitration signals a positive direction for both Swayman and the Bruins. With both sides now focused on a mutually agreeable extension, the next steps in solidifying Swayman’s future in Boston appear promising.

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