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Senators Last Hope For Bruins To Trade Ullmark: Best Options Ottawa Has To Offer

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AP Photo/Charles Krupa

The Boston Bruins began the offseason with a variety of options in their search to trade goalie Linus Ullmark. But in just one afternoon, those options quickly dissipated as two teams reportedly interested in Ullmark found their solutions in goal elsewhere on Wednesday.

As the pressure escalates with time running out to maximize the return they receive for Ullmark, the Bruins may have a lifeline in the Ottawa Senators.

Shortly after the goalie market dried up yesterday, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Citizen reported the Senators are intensifying their efforts to swing a deal with the Bruins for the former Vezina Trophy-winning netminder.

“League sources say that Steve Staios, the Senators’ president of hockey operations and general manager, has been making a hard push to try to acquire Ullmark,” wrote Garrioch. “The Senators had already stepped up their efforts to acquire goaltender Linus Ullmark from the Boston Bruins, [and] Ottawa may now be the last serious team in the mix.”

Even as perhaps the last team legitimately interested in acquiring Ullmark, the Senators will need to provide Bruins general manager Don Sweeney with a serious offer to get a deal done.

What would such a deal look like? Here are some pieces the Bruins will likely ask for and probably demand from Ottawa.

Jakob Chychrun:

One of the biggest needs for the Bruins this offseason is a left-handed defenseman, and they could add one by acquiring Jakob Chychrun from the Senators.

It’s been just a little over a year since the Senators traded away three draft picks to pick up Chychrun, but are now putting him back on the market with one season remaining on his current contract.

Injuries have prevented the former 16th overall pick from developing into the top-flight defenseman that many projected him to be when he was drafted eight years ago. Still, at 26 and just now entering his prime, he is very much worthy of a top-four role. Effective at both ends of the ice, Chychrun would make for a reliable partner next to either Charlie McAvoy or Brandon Carlo on the Bruins’ blue line while playing minutes on both special teams units.

The Bruins would certainly like some sort of guarantee that Chychrun is willing to stay in Boston for the foreseeable future, but an extension is an issue they can wait to address next summer.

Like Ullmark, Chychrun has a modified no-trade clause attached to his deal. It’s not known whether or not his list includes the Bruins, but it is one detail that needs to be ironed out in this hypothetical transaction.

First-Round Pick:

There may be room to negotiate over Chychrun, but any scenario in which the Bruins send Ullmark to Ottawa without getting a first-round draft pick back in return is highly unlikely.

The Calgary Flames set the goalie market yesterday when they received a first-round selection in next year’s draft from the New Jersey Devils for Jacob Markstrom. However, the Bruins are in urgent need of a pick.

After trading away its draft stock over the last handful of seasons, Boston enters the 2024 NHL Entry Draft with only three picks of which none fall in the first three rounds. Meanwhile, Ottawa owns seven picks, including two in the first round.

Senators senior vice president Dave Poulin is already on the record saying the team has discussed parting with the No. 7 overall pick, but the Bruins may be just as satisfied with the same No. 25 overall selection they sent to the Detroit Red Wings last year in a trade for Tyler Bertuzzi.

Anton Forsberg:

While Chyrchun, a first-round pick, or perhaps both, will be the main portion of the return Boston receives for Ullmark, they’ll still need a goalie to replace him.

Anton Forsberg was supposed to be the backup in Ottawa last year but began to receive more regular starts when Joonas Korpisalo failed to meet expectations.

Forsberg struggled with a .890 save percentage and 3.21 goals against average through 30 games in 2023-24. Those results, however, came after he returned midseason following his recovery from surgery to repair a torn MCL and were compounded by a bad Ottawa defense in front of him. In Boston, Forsberg would play a much smaller role as the understudy to Jeremy Swayman behind a much better defense.

Even if he doesn’t win the backup job out of training camp, he’d still serve as extra insurance in Providence while playing out the final year of his contract as the final piece in the Bruins’ return for Ullmark.

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