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Bruins Contemplating Gigantic Goalie Trade for Roster Upgrades

Elliotte Friedman says the Boston Bruins have been considering a goalie trade to get the roster fixes they need. Is this a big mistake?

In the latest episode of the “32 Thoughts” podcast, NHL insiders Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed the possibility of the Boston Bruins trading goaltender Linus Ullmark. While Friedman questioned whether the Bruins would actually do it, there’s speculation that Bruins’ general manager Don Sweeney might entertain such a move if it leads to significant upgrades in other areas of the roster. The question is, why make a big goalie trade and remove one of the strongest parts of your team?

Friedman notes that the Bruins are reportedly in search of a center and a defenseman, but with limited picks and prospects, any roster improvements are likely to come from within. Ullmark’s name is in the whispers, raising questions about the Bruins potentially subtracting from a position perceived as one of their greatest strengths. He noted, “They don’t have picks. … I had a few people point out to me, the Bruins actually have players they can move.” He added, “I’m really careful about this this time of year, because a lot of it becomes almost circumstantial evidence.”

Linus Ullmark Bruins trade rumors

The debate centers on whether the Bruins view their goaltending tandem of Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman as a luxury rather than a necessity. Marek suggests that when a team is aiming for a Stanley Cup, sometimes they must part with perceived luxuries to address more pressing needs. Friedman agrees, emphasizing the Bruins’ willingness to make tough decisions. He noted, “I think the Bruins might see it the same way. And they’re not an organization that’s afraid to make those kinds of decisions. They’re not afraid to make hard decisions. So, I do think you’re onto something there. I really do. It’s just a matter of, do they find something they like?”

What Are the Bruins Looking at Adding via Trade?

The Bruins are highlighted as one of the teams eyeing coveted defenseman Noah Hanifin from the Calgary Flames. The challenge lies in orchestrating a trade involving Ullmark and acquiring Hanifin, likely requiring separate transactions or a three-team deal. The financial aspect is crucial, with Ullmark’s $5 million contract potentially making way for Hanifin’s $4.95 million. The Flames arguably aren’t looking at a goaltender either. If they’re moving Jacob Markstrom, they likely have plans for Dustin Wolf and Daniel Vladar. Marek said, “I don’t think they’re sending a goaltender to Calgary.”

Noah Hanifin Boston Bruins sign-and-trade rumors

Ullmark’s 16-team no-trade list adds complexity, allowing him a say in potential destinations. That makes an already-challenging three-team trade scenario even more difficult. If a team were to jump in and play matchmaker, trying to acquire Ullmark as the third team, does Ullmark want to go there? Is that team going to want to talk about a potential extension?

Is Swayman Prepared to Be the Starter Outside That Dynamic Duo?

The key question facing the Bruins is whether they are ready to trust Jeremy Swayman as their No. 1 goalie and Brandon Bussi as the backup. While roster upgrades are enticing, the potential goalie issues in the playoffs could be a significant risk. Swayman is more than capable, but what happens when there’s no Ullmark backing him up?

The Bruins would be banking on Swayman’s ability to handle a more extensive workload, a challenge he has yet to face at the NHL level.

Next: Oilers Face Re-Emerging Goalie Issue as Trade Deadline Nears

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