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All Eyes On Bruins, Ullmark Following Flurry Of Goalie Trades

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AP Photo/Matt Slocum

The trade market for goalies is officially set following a pair of deals made on Wednesday afternoon.

First reported by Travis Yost of TSN, the New Jersey Devils acquired netminder Jacob Markstrom in a trade with the Calgary Flames. In exchange, the Flames received 23-year-old defenseman Kevin Bahl and New Jersey’s first-round pick in next year’s draft, which is top-10 protected. Calgary is also retaining 31.25% of the salary remaining on Markstrom’s contract over the next two seasons.

A few hours after the Marsktrom deal was announced, Sportnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported the Los Angeles Kings agreed to trade center Pierre Luc-Dubois to the Washington Capitals for goalie Darcy Kuemper.

Now that two goalies are off the NHL trade market, all eyes will shift to the Boston Bruins, who are still shopping Linus Ullmark. However, Finding a trade partner will be much harder for Bruins general manager Don Sweeney than previously now that the Devils and Kings, two of the teams with perhaps the biggest need in goal this summer, are no longer interested.

As for the teams still known to be looking for an upgrade in net, the Carolina Hurricanes and Ottawa Senators remain. Carolina is trying to find a new home for Martin Necas, and Ottawa has said it’s willing to give up its first-round pick in this year’s draft, as well as defenseman Jakob Chychrun. Even still, Ullmark’s contract situation makes executing a trade difficult.

With just one year remaining on his current deal, Ullmark is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. It’s doubtful that any potential buyer will be willing to give up high-priced assets without a guarantee that Ullmark is willing to stick with them beyond this upcoming season. Before that can even be discussed, there’s the matter of whether or not Ullmark will agree to be traded in the first place, as he has a 15-team no-movement clause attached to his contract.

The Bruins have been trying to strike a trade involving Ullmark for months but are quickly running out of time to get a deal done, with the 2024 NHL Entry Draft in Las Vegas fast approaching. Boston currently owns just three selections this year, none of which come in the first three rounds, and trading away Ullmark before the draft begins next Friday is the most obvious way Sweeney can restock on picks the Bruins desperately need.

The countdown to the draft, coupled with Markstrom and Keumper being off the market, should only speed up conversations surrounding Ullmark. Trading Ullmark was always going to be challenging for the Bruins and has been up to this point. In the span of a few short hours, it just became increasingly more difficult.

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