Swayman Has The Option of Arbitration with Bruins

Though It’s Unlikely, Swayman Has The Option of Arbitration

The NHL community generally believes that by the June 28–29 NHL Entry Draft in Las Vegas, goalkeeper Jeremy Swayman and the Boston Bruins will reach an agreement on a multi-year contract extension.

The 25-year-old goalie and the Bruins could sign a long-term contract, an NHL executive source told Boston Hockey Now.

On May 20, the insider opined, “I’d say 6×6.” “He’s deserving of it; at this point, he’s probably the best American goalie in the NHL.”

Since then, there have been a lot of rumors regarding what Swayman’s side is requesting, and there will be a lot more until Swayman signs a new deal. Alternatively, and this seems very improbable but yet possible, Swayman decides to take the Boston Bruins to arbitration once more, just as he did the previous year when he was given a $3.48 million, one-year contract. The fact that Bruins general manager Don Sweeney last week made a point of clarifying that Swayman, not the team, made the decision to elect arbitration last summer intrigued this puck scribe. Additionally, Sweeney stated unequivocally that the Bruins attempted to extend Swayman’s contract during the previous regular season.

“Well it’s clearly a priority, and Jeremy [Swayman] knows, I told him, he took us to arbitration just for clarity,” Sweeney said in the team’s end-of-season press conference last Wednesday. “Again, that’s part of it is no different than Trent Frederic and not being able to settle. Sometimes those things happen, of course, and it’s not an indication of whether or not we didn’t believe in Jeremy Swayman or whether or not we don’t think he could have been part of our future. We clearly engaged in conversation during the regular season to define the longer-term extension; we haven’t gotten there yet; it’s a priority now, and it will continue to be a priority until we get that across the finish line.”

He’s a big part of our current team, our record in playoffs, and our future. Our goaltending is arguably one of the best tandems in the National Hockey League, and they proved that during the course of the season. They put us in the situation most nights to have an opportunity to win. The priority will be to find a landing spot with Jeremy.”

This past season, Jeremy Swayman proved that he is ready to assume the Boston Bruins’ No. 1 goalie role. He went 6-6 with a 2.15 GAA and a .933 save percentage in the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This followed up a brilliant regular season that saw the 25-year-old, 6-foot-3, 195-pound netminder go 25-10-8 with a 2.53 GAA and a .916 save percentage. Now, Swayman is set to become a restricted free agent with NHL arbitration rights on July 1 and is expected to hit pay dirt.

Rightfully so, and the Bruins better be ready to show him the money. I’ll be honest: I’ve always respected and still respect the way the Bruins maintain their stance in contract negotiations and find a way to lock up their guys long-term to what always ends up being a bargain. Can they do that with Swayman now?

I’m not sure because I believe the Bruins will have to give in since the cap will eventually rise and the playoffs will once again highlight the importance of goalies. If they don’t and July 1st arrives, Swayman’s team can simply respond, “We can play hardball too.” Let’s hold arbitration once more.

Swayman benefits from the prize in every way, and after the deal is completed, his price will increase even more.

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