For anyone wondering what kind of head space Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark might be in after two straight playoff disappointments and an offseason spent on the NHL trade rumor wire, the 2023 Vezina Trophy winner is feeling right at home.
“Feels like home,” Ullmark replied when asked by Boston Hockey Now how he feels compared to when the Boston Bruins signed him to a four-year, $20 million contract in the 2021 offseason. “That says a lot about it. Everything surrounding hockey, everything off the ice, everything like that, we know what to expect. We said that when we came in last year, and this year as well, it just feels like home. It’s a great feeling to have and to have the security, and also for the kids and my wife too, to feel the same too.”
Make no mistake, there was a time during the offseason when Linus Ullmark didn’t know if he’d be able to feel this way heading into his post-Vezina season.
“It’s crossed my mind, yeah. I mean, I’m not going to lie, that’s the business part of it,” Ullmark told the media at the NHL Awards in Nashville on June 26. “That’s what we live in.”
With the Boston Bruins up against the flat $82.5 million cap and potential replacement in Jeremy Swayman, Ullmark became a valuable trade commodity for the Bruins to utilize and free up some salary cap space.
“When you have two goalies that are so close when it comes to stat-wise, there’s got to be some changes probably,” Ullmark pointed out. “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, 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.”
Ullmark is relieved and grateful he didn’t turn out to be a cap casualty and wind up on his third NHL team after being drafted by and playing for the Buffalo Sabres before signing with the Bruins.
“It feels great!” Ullmark exclaimed when asked how it felt to stay with the Bruins. “You don’t want to be that guy that sort of flops around from team to team every year or something like that. It kind of shows that if you are, obviously, you’re good enough to stay in the league, but at the same time, if you’re staying with the same club, you’re a little bit better than if you’re floating around. That’s what I want to do; I want to establish myself.
We feel like Boston’s our home, and I can’t be more grateful to be part of this organization and this long history. 100 years is a big one, and it’s kind of mesmerizing to think about that you’re part of this centennial season, and it’s a very special feeling.”