Could Jeremy Swayman’s torrid start to the 2023-24 regular season have the Boston Bruins already preparing to extend the potential 2024 restricted free agent on a multi-year, mega-contract as soon as they can?
Jeremy Swayman, 24, can become a restricted free agent again on July 1 after being awarded a one-year, $3.4 million contract in arbitration this past August. The Boston Bruins have seven players who can become unrestricted free agents and two players – including Swayman – who can become restricted free agents on their current roster. General manager Don Sweeney will likely have plenty of money to spend under a salary cap that’s expected to rise by at least $2 million. With goalie Linus Ullmark entering the final season of his four-year, $20 million contract, will Sweeney lock up Swayman long-term?
It’s only mid-November, but so far, Swayman and Vancouver Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko have to be considered co-favorites for the Vezina Trophy. Swayman (6-0-1) is yet to lose in regulation this season and leads all goalies who have started five games or more in goals-against average at 1.69 and in save percentage at .944. Demko, who has been the backbone for the surprising Canucks is 7-3-0 with a 1.96 GAA and .935 save percentage.
Speaking on ‘The Jeff Marek Show’ on Monday, Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman was discussing the Montreal Canadiens and their efforts to extend goalie Samuel Montembeault, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Boston tries to get Swayman done too because he’s on a one-year deal, and he can extend on January 1st, so I’m curious about that,” Friedman opined to Marek. “The way he’s started this year, how well he’s played, how well they’re going, it would not surprise me at all if the Bruins are looking at that as well.”
Throughout the arbitration process last August and since then, Swayman has repeatedly made it clear that he wants to remain with the Boston Bruins past this season.
“It wasn’t a process I wanted to go through,” Swayman stated after receiving his arbitration reward. “But I understand that it’s business, and in the end, I’m grateful I went through it because I have so many things to be grateful for. I think the biggest thing is living day by day, understanding that what you hear might not be the truth at all times, and again, it’s a business. I wanted to make sure that whatever was thrown my way, I was gonna be able to attack with a good mindset and make sure that at the end of the day, I was doing everything I could to be a Boston Bruin.
Now I’m here today, and I am a Boston Bruin — I couldn’t be happier. There’s no ill will on the process because I understand that. I’m not the first player to go through it. I’m not the last. But I definitely don’t wish it upon any of my friends and teammates moving forward, and I don’t want to do it ever again as well. So grateful I went through it. Glad I got it done. I’m a Boston Bruin at the end of the day.”