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Bruins Can’t Afford to Keep Jeremy Swayman Without Big Moves

If the Boston Bruins are looking to hang onto Jeremy Swayman and also keep Linus Ullmark, they’ll need to make other moves.

With a .921 SV% and 19-6-4 record this season, if the Boston Bruins would like to keep pending RFA goaltender Jeremy Swayman in the fold, it’s going to take offering him a hefty raise over the $925K cap hit he’s currently playing at. It’s one of the best deals in the NHL and it’s one that will only last until the end of this season when the Bruins have to make some key decisions on a number of players.

With seven key pending UFAs and a couple of important RFAs all needing new contracts if they are staying in Boston, it’s unlikely the Bruins can keep everyone if the plan is to retain Swayman, while also keeping Linus Ullmark on the roster. Ullmark is making $5 million and worth every penny of his salary.

Adam Gretz of Bleacher Report writes, “It all comes down to how much the Bruins want to invest in their goalie duo and what sacrifices they want to make elsewhere on the roster.” He notes, if the plan is to re-sign Swayman, they may have to make moves in other areas to compensate for having two expensive goaltenders on the roster.

Jeremy Swayman Boston Bruins NHL contract
Jeremy Swayman Boston Bruins NHL contract

That could mean saying goodbye to players in key positions, specifically newly acquired defenseman Dmitry Orlov or forward Tyler Bertuzzi.

Do Swayman and Ullmark Both Want the Starters Job?

It would be natural to assume that both netminders want to be the man in Boston. If you’re an elite goaltender in the NHL, you want to start, even if you’re competing for them with your closest friend. And, make no mistake, Swayman and Ullmark are extremely close. He notes their bond is something special and there is certainly a desire to want to play alongside one of your best friends. “I’m just enjoying the ride, and hopefully it’s going to continue for a long time.”

But, even if the Bruins decide they want to invest as much as $8 or $9 million in their goaltending tandem, how long will Swayman want to play a backup role when the opportunity to be a starter will certainly make itself available in the next couple of seasons? He’s playing out his entry-level contract right now and Ullmark isn’t going anywhere.

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