Could the Boston Bruins become players on the NHL trade market for goalies?
As of now, it wouldn’t be a great NHL betting play to bet on this, but if, and right now, that’s all this is, an if, Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark winds up on injured reserve thanks to the injury that forced him to leave 2:40 into the overtime session of another 4-3 loss for the Bruins, will general manager Don Sweeney explore the NHL trade market for a veteran back-up goalie? Or will he put his faith in unproven AHL star goalie Brandon Bussi, who was expected to be recalled from the Providence Bruins on Wednesday to back up Jeremy Swayman in the Bruins’ final two games of their current four-game road trip?
“Depends first and foremost on the prognosis for Ullmark obviously, but also how much faith he has in an unproven kid,” one NHL executive opined to Boston Hockey Now on Wednesday. “Does he have enough faith in Bussi that if Swayman was to get injured in the playoffs, Bussi could get the job done? I don’t know the answer.”
Brandon Bussi gets some work in this morning in Providence. Expect him to catch a flight to Vegas later today to meet up with Bruins pic.twitter.com/4LI5snlibC
— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) January 10, 2024
Throughout the offseason and for the first quarter of this season, NHL trade speculation surrounding Linus Ullmark percolated throughout the league. With the Bruins in dire need of a top 6 center after the offseason retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, and with the 25-year-old Swayman viewed as their goalie of the future, various reports suggested that the 30-year-old Ullmark could be used as a trade chip to acquire the top 6 center on the NHL trade market. Things got so real in terms of Ullmark being traded that even he wondered aloud at the NHL awards if he would be a Boston Bruin this 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 in Nashville before he received the 2023 Vezina Trophy. “That’s what we live in.”
As the Ullmark-Swayman hug duo has stoned the NHL again this season though, the trade rumors have dissipated. Ironically though, the Bruins now could find themselves trying to acquire a veteran backup to replace the injured Ullmark in the lineup.
“I don’t think they go into panic mode just yet,” the aforementioned source said of the Bruins. “They’ll likely give this kid a chance to see where he’s at and go from there if need be.”
The Bruins weren’t scheduled to meet the media on Wednesday ahead of their game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night in Las Vegas. So, it’s likely that Ullmark’s status won’t be made public until Thursday, and until then, as stated above, this is all hypothetical, but the NHL betting odds on it, depending on how long Ullmark is out, could become higher.