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Murphy: Did Ullmark Veto A Trade To The Avalanche?

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NHL Trade

The Boston Bruins made two trades leading into the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline on Friday, but neither generated the buzz that the trade they didn’t make did.

Shortly after the Bruins acquired rugged winger and three-time Stanley Cup champion Pat Maroon from the Minnesota Wild late Friday morning and before they traded for defenseman Andrew Peeke from the Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL Insider Kevin Weekes reported that Ullmark had invoked his 16-team (14 of which are believed to be in the Western Conference) no-trade clause for a trade that would’ve sent him to a Western Conference team.

In his post-NHL trade deadline press conference, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney would not discuss the Linus Ullmark report but also did not deny it when given more than one chance to deny it.

“I mean, at the end of the day, I’m never going to get into a conversation with what I may have talked to Linus about,” Sweeney said. “I acknowledge we’ve explored different situations and we had opportunities to move different players, but I’m not getting into the, you know, the intricacies of what, what’s in somebody’s contract at this point in time.”

So, who was this mystery team Ullmark refused to sign off on a trade to?

It was originally reported here and elsewhere that the team acquiring Ullmark likely would’ve been the Los Angeles Kings, given the fact that Boston Hockey Now had already confirmed more than once that the Bruins and Kings had discussed multiple trade proposals that would see Ullmark go from Black and Gold to Black and Silver. However, an NHL source close to the situation almost immediately shot that down to BHN and confirmed the Kings were not in the trade that Ullmark vetoed. That source still maintained that the Kings were one of the teams in on Ullmark, but it wasn’t part of the NHL trade proposal that almost came to fruition. So, who was that team?

Well, on Friday morning, about an hour before Weekes’ report, we reported this based on three separate conversations with NHL sources (one team executive, one high-up hockey ops source, and a well-connected pro scut) when it came to the Boston Bruins potentially trading the 2023 Vezina Trophy winner:

As of 10 a.m., ET, the Bruins were engaged in NHL trade talks regarding Linus Ullmark with the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche, and the Detroit Red Wings, who recently entered the NHL trade market for goalies. The New Jersey Devils had been keeping tabs on the Bruins goalie but backed out and switched their focus elsewhere and likely back to Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom.

After digging more into what team had made the best offer for Ullmark only to get it rejected by the Bruins goalie, BHN hasn’t been able to 100-percent confirm, but all signs are pointing to the Colorado Avalanche. Worried about the season-long inconsistency from current No. 1 goalie Alexandar Georgiev, the Avalanche decided to make one final push for Ullmark, according to one of the above sources.

“I don’t know who would’ve been going to the Bruins, but I keep hearing it was the Avalanche,” the source told BHN on Saturday morning. “I know they looked into [Jake} Allen right after Weekes’ report and before Allen went to New Jersey. They definitely scrambled for a goalie at the end.”

We may never know for sure who the team was, but there’s a real solid chance that Sweeney will try to move Ullmark again in the offseason, and it’s worth keeping an eye on the Avalanche and the Kings depending on how their goalies fare in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

For now though, Linus Ullmark remains a Bruin and will start today against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

 

 

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