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Poll: Should The Bruins Trade A Goalie To Clear Cap Space?



NHL trade

Ever since the Boston Bruins were eliminated from the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs back on April 30, NHL trade speculation has swirled around their goaltending tandem of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.

The Boston Bruins allowed a league-low 177 goals (including shootout-deciding goals). They finished ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes (213) by an astonishing 36 goals. That’s the largest gap between the top two teams since the 190-91 Chicago Blackhawks (211) allowed 38 fewer goals than the Montreal Canadiens (249).

The dynamic and hugging duo of Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman also became the first goalie tandem to have one goalie win 40 games and the other 20 or more. Ullmark was 40-6-1 with a 1.89 GAA and a .938 save percentage, and is a 2023 Vezina Trophy finalist and favorite. Meanwhile, Swayman was 24-6-4 with a 2.27 GAA and a .920 save percentage.

So why would the Boston Bruins want to trade either goalie?

Because like so many NHL teams right now, they’re are up against the basically flat 2023-24 $83 million salary cap and beyond. The Bruins have eight unrestricted free agents and three restricted free agents – including Swayman – to make decisions on. Without any of those free agents signed they will still only have an estimated $5.2 million in cap space starting July 1.

Linus Ullmark has two seasons left on a four-year, $20 million contract that carries a $5 million salary cap hit, and as mentioned above, Swayman is a restricted free agents. Numerous projections have him being awarded a 2-3 year contract that could carry a cap hit somewhere between $3.5-4.5 million. So if the Boston Bruins do decide to trade one of Ullmark, who will turn 30 on July 31, or Swayman who hits the quarter-century mark on November 24, who will it be?

Ullmark’s name has been bantered about in NHL trade chatter amongst various NHL sources Boston Hockey Now talks with frequently and thus his name has become a mainstay in the NHL rumor mill this spring. Swayman is younger and cheaper. The bet here is that if one of the two goalies are dealt, it’s Ullmark, given his value will likely never be higher.

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