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Should Bruins Be Worried About A Swayman Offer Sheet?



Boston Bruins

Should the Boston Bruins be worried about an NHL offer sheet being submitted to restricted free agent goalie Jeremy Swayman?

Despite an NHL offer sheet being legal under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, there still seems to be this unwritten rule amongst NHL general managers not to submit them and not take advantage of their GM brethren who find themselves in a pickle. However, with so many NHL teams up against the flattened $83.5 salary cap, could this be the year the few teams with cap space finally utilize the offer sheet option?

“If ever there was a time for teams to use this tool finally, then this is it,” an NHL agent recently opined to Boston Hockey Now. “With the cap expected to go up more in the next few seasons, if you have the space now, why not take advantage of a team like the Boston Bruins and offer sheet Jeremy Swayman?”

The Boston Bruins currently have $6.2 million in salary cap space to sign Jeremy Swayman and their other two restricted free agents, forwards Trent Frederic and Jakub Lauko. Swayman is coming out of his three-year, $3.1 million ($925,000 AAV) contract and likely looking for a hefty raise after going 24-6-4 with a 2.27 GAA and a .920 save percentage. It’s believed Swayman and his camp are expecting his next contract to carry at least a $3.5 million cap hit, but that has not been confirmed.

So if the Bruins aren’t willing to go to that cap hit with Swayman just yet, would another team – like the Chicago Blackhawks ($17.2M in cap space) come in with an offer sheet of four or five years with a $5 million cap hit?

As you can see in this tweet below, the compensation for the Boston Bruins would be 2024 first and third-round picks.

It should also be noted that the Blackhawks own two first round and two third round picks at the 2024 NHL Draft

Given that the Boston Bruins aren’t scheduled to pick until the fourth round at the 2024 NHL Draft and that Swayman’s Jennings Trophy partner Linus Ullmark still carries the same cap hit for the next two seasons, would Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney still match? Is Sweeney, who knows he needs to start replenishing the prospect cupboard via the NHL Draft, willing to pass up the chance to pick in the first round for the first time since 2021?

Given what Sweeney said about Jeremy Swayman this past Saturday, the read here is that Sweeney would match and figure out other alternatives to free up salary cap space.

“He’s been very consistent about where he wants to play hockey,” Sweeney said of Swayman. “I don’t see why he wouldn’t be playing hockey here now and moving forward for a long time. This is a really good young goaltender. We are excited about having him and Linus.

It kind of solidifies, you know, takes away the guesswork of whether or not we have to address another need, that’s for darn sure. We feel very comfortable and want to take another step. We want to see both of them take another step. That’s God’s honest truth. Our hockey club, you know, peace of mind for 82 games was pretty darn consistent. And you know what? We just didn’t do what we wanted to do, and hope to do that in the playoffs. And we have to learn and grow. Jeremy is part of that.”

Still, as the agent above said, there is a more realistic chance that Sweeney may be forced to make such a decision, so this is worth keeping an eye on.


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