NHL trade rumors are expected to pick up again soon, but don’t expect Boston Bruins goalies Linus Ullmark or Jeremy Swayman to be in many, and more importantly, traded.
“I’d be shocked if the Bruins trade a goalie now,” an NHL executive source told Boston Hockey Now on Tuesday morning.
That same source works for a team that expressed interest in both goalies earlier this offseason but would not say why his team could not acquire one of Ullmark or Swayman.
As the 2023 NHL offseason began, and into mid-July, Boston Bruins goalie Ullmark was a staple in NHL trade rumors as Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney explored different options to free up salary cap space. In fact, the chance that Ullmark may be moved on the NHL trade market became so likely that even Ullmark himself wondered whom he might be playing for in the 2023-24 season.
“It’s crossed my mind, yeah. I’m not going to lie. That’s the business part of it. That’s what we live in,” Linus Ullmark told the media in Nashville on June 26, a day before being named the 2023 Vezina Trophy winner at the NHL Awards.
“When you have two goalies that are so close when it comes to stat-wise, there’s got to be some changes probably. And hopefully, like I think, for both of us, that we both want to be together and we want to stay in Boston because that’s where we thrive and you see the success that we’ve had, and we’ve just got see, you know, there’s a personal side to it, and there’s a business side to it, and you’ve got to honor it. That’s just how being a professional hockey player is.”
The next day, Sweeney found his salary cap space on the NHL trade market, but it wasn’t by trading Ullmark, who has two more seasons left on a four-year, $20 million contract with a $5 million cap hit. Instead, the Bruins traded veteran winger Taylor Hall (two years left with a $6 million cap hit) and the rights to unrestricted free agent-to-be winger Nick Foligno in exchange for defensemen Ian Mitchell and Alec Regula.
led the NHL in wins (40), goals-against average (1.89), and save percentage (.938), becoming just the eighth goalie in NHL history to lead the league in all three categories and the first since Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price did it in 2014-15, in essentially capturing the triple crown for goaltenders. Ullmark also teamed with Jeremy Swayman – who went 24-6-4 with a 2.27 GAA and a .920 save percentage – to allow the fewest goals in the NHL this season and won the Jennings Trophy as the league’s best goaltending tandem.