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Boston Bruins Send ‘Disappointed’ Swayman To AHL With Rask Signing

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Boston Bruins

With the news that the Boston Bruins are signing Tuukka Rask to a one-year, $1 million contract, the B’s didn’t waste much time clearing up their crowded goaltending situation. Rask will immediately join the team and will start by serving as the backup for Linus Ullmark in Wednesday night’s game vs. the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden, the third straight start for the Swedish netminder signed in the offseason.

Rookie Jeremy Swayman, who actually has the slightly better numbers with an 8-6-2 record, 2.26 goals against average and .918 save percentage, will be headed to Providence to serve as the No. 1 goaltender for the Providence Bruins. Predictably, the 23-year-old goaltender wasn’t exactly excited about the news when his general manager broke it to on Wednesday afternoon, but there weren’t really any alternatives with Ullmark holding an ironclad no-movement clause for the next few seasons on his four-year, $20 million contract.

“He’ll be in practice [on Wednesday] and he’ll be backing up tomorrow night [against the Canadiens]. Then we’ll make a decision from there. I had a conversation with Jeremy this afternoon and he’ll be reporting to Providence,” said Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. “He’s actually not eligible for the taxi squad, but if we have an injury or COVID of some sort then certainly Jeremy would have an opportunity and we’d expect that he would play. It’s part of the process having the depth required with all that we’re facing.

“[He was] disappointed…not overly surprised based on how it was tracking for Tuukka’s health and his potential availability. Jeremy took in stride as a professional and he’s extremely motivated to be a top-flight goaltender, which we believe him to be. He knows that with the commitment that we’ve made to him in trading a good, young goaltender in Daniel Vladar in allowing him to play opening night. He knows that he’s a big part of our current team as well as moving forward. Most importantly he’s got a hell of a long career in front of him as a Boston Bruin.”

Who knows? It could be that Swayman will factor into the mix along with Ullmark and Rask amidst an extremely busy second half of the season with Rask coming back from summer hip surgery. But it sure feels like the Boston Bruins are going to be riding with Rask and Ullmark unless something unforeseen happens this year.

The Bruins are currently 12th in the NHL with a .917 save percentage this season and seventh in the league with a 2.59 goals against average, so goaltending clearly isn’t the biggest issue facing the B’s currently. But Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy outlined the B’s thinking last week while it’s pretty clear the lack of Stanley Cup playoff experience for both Ullmark and Swayman had to be a part of the equation as well.

“We’re top-10 (in some goalie stats). We want to be top five,” said Cassidy. “We want to be one of the elite teams and we’re trending towards that. That’s a good thing and Tuukka, we assume, could only help with that.”

That part is definitely true and with a price tag of just $1 million on the salary cap it was too good of an opportunity to pass up, though it might be a tough sell to get a talented, young goalie like Swayman to buy into that right now.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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JustJim

Time will tell if this is another mistake by general manager, Mr. Sweeney.

Orrfan

Absolutely stupid move. Rask is entirely untested after coming off major hip surgery. The Bruins prove, yet again, that their specialty is mismanaging young talent. How in God’s name do they know how Rask will be after this surgery? Live game action is the only sure way of knowing. So they’ve replaced a player who has rounded his game into form with an unknown, and the most divisive goaltender in Bruins history, to boot. After a series of bad drafts and questionable free agent signings, Sweeney and co. are taking a big chance with this move. And the timing? 5… Read more »

Orrfan

 “But Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy outlined the B’s thinking last week while it’s pretty clear the lack of Stanley Cup playoff experience for both Ullmark and Swayman had to be a part of the equation as well.”

Riiiiight. Because the B’s “playoff experience” with Rask in net has been so freakin’ positive…

Last edited 14 days ago by Orrfan
Chuck Rose

Wow what bunch of nervous nellys. Rask is signed. The cap won’t allow them to keep three goalies on the roster. Swayman (although he’s played well) is actually a .500 goalie so far this year (8-6-2 meaning 8 wins and 8 losses). And Swayman is the only one of the three that doesn’t have to clear waivers to be sent down. It was really the only possible move here. Sweeney has made plenty of mistakes as GM, but this isn’t one of them. I think Swayman will benefit from playing in Providence to get more experience and I for one… Read more »

Rick W Murray

I’m a bit peeved at this if they signed Ullmark for a decent price and got a 2nd line centre I might feel a bit better about the whole situation We knew for months Swayman was going down although he has the better stats than Ullmark he didn’t perform as well as last season. Some seasoning in the minors could help.

Chuck Rose

The only stat that matters in this case is wins/losses. Ullmark is 11-5-0 and Swayman is 8-6-2. Both have had 16 starts. Ullmark has earned the team 22 points and Swayman has earned the team 18 points. The kid has a long career ahead of him. He can be better and likely will be better with a bit of seasoning in Provedence.

Lawrence Maiolo

Dumb move. Should have let Rask go. Swayman is going to remember this once he becomes a free agent.

Mick R Wurray

Why do you keep commenting on Bruins forums? Seriously Larry you’re ignorant. You and my alter ego Rick are incredibly negative. What a way to live life.

BobtheBs

The big picture is that with Bergy and March getting up in years and Pasta unlikely to take another hometown discount contract, this team has about a two year window to contend before a rebuild — this year and next year. Having one of the highest value assets on the team toil away in providence and provide no value to the current team is mismanagement and a bad look. Certainly Sweeney giving a no-trade clause to Ulmark stands out here. I’m of the opinion that until this team’s management is replaced, they will always be playing with one arm behind… Read more »

William Mahoney

Bad move losing Swayman to AHL but maybe with Rask signed to a deal the Bruins can trade him for Jack Eichel?

Chuck Rose

Bet Tuukka got a no movement clause too. Eichel is not coming to Boston (except in a Golden Knight’s jersey).

James

Long time bruins fan. Went through a lot of pain with this team but never waivered.
Some of that pain was caused by tooka. Sure he has one stanley cup he won sitting and watching. I think he is selfish. He proved it in the bubble and this reaffirms it. Never wins the pressure games. I think this is a big mistake unless he does not have a no trade clause. In a perfect world he will be playing in Edmonton soon

Last edited 13 days ago by James

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