Did potential 2024 restricted free agent and Boston Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman send a shot across the bow to team management following the Bruins’ 4-3 overtime win on Saturday night?
By all accounts, the NHL betting odds that the Bruins and Swayman agree on a contract extension soon are high. However, his postgame comments on Saturday were interesting, to say the least.
Swayman was selected to the 2024 NHL All-Star game via the Fan Vote on Saturday, and about eight hours later, he helped the Bruins snap a three-game losing streak with a 20-save performance. The win improved Swayman to 12-3-7 with a 2.49 GAA and a .918 save percentage. After the game, Swayman was asked about being selected to the NHL All-Star game for the first time in his young NHL career.
“That’s really special,” Swayman replied. “First and foremost, it couldn’t have happened without the team in front of me. Huge kudos to them for allowing that to happen, but after dealing with what I did this summer with arbitration and hearing things that a player should never hear, it feels pretty special to be in this situation. I’m extremely honored, and I’m really excited to join ‘Pasta’ [David Pastrnak] and ‘Monty’ [Jim Montgomery].”
Pastrnak was selected to the All-Star game on December 28, and Montgomery became the Atlantic Division coach for a second straight season thanks to the Bruins’ win and the Florida Panthers losing 4-1 to the New Jersey Devils earlier on Saturday night.
The fact that Jeremy Swayman made a point to mention his arbitration hearing with the Boston Bruins that saw him earn a one-year, $3.47 million contract was interesting. Arbitration is always an uncomfortable process for players and teams, and while Swayman has clearly been on a mission on the ice to prove his worth and help his team, he’s basically taken the high road after the arbitration hearing. Swayman and his agent Lewis Gross have also held true to self-imposed gag orders when it comes to contract talks with the Bruins.
What’s also interesting about Swayman’s comment on Saturday night is that just over three weeks ago, Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman said that he felt like Swayman could be signing a contract extension with the Boston Bruins this month.
“On the 1st, there are some free agents who can sign,” Friedman pointed out back on Dec. 29. “Players who sign one-year deals can sign, and I think there’s going to be some interesting ones coming out of this. I’m really curious to see. …like Jeremy Swayman is one. That’s one that I’ve kind of wondered about. Shane Pinto, I assume, you know, he’s not even signed yet, but he’s back in Ottawa, and I assume he will this year, and then they’ll kind of figure that one out. But I am really curious about some of these one-year guys and where they’re going to end up and if they’re going to be extended.
You know, like I had said before, I thought that Tyler Bertuzzi was a guy Toronto had talked about a long-term deal with but I don’t expect anything like that right now. To me, one of the guys I’m really watching is Swayman.”
Per the NHL/NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, players on expiring contracts can begin to sign contract extensions with their current teams on Jan. 1.
Swayman’s comment has to make one wonder if things have not gone as Friedman expected and if the two sides are making any progress in contract talks.
If you’re a betting man, and it’s available, you should go to FanDuel and bet that they will, but also bank on Swayman’s agent going Jerry McGuire on the Bruins.