The Real Possible Outcomes of the Jeremy Swayman Negotiations with the Boston Bruins | Inside The Rink

Photo: Frank Gunn via The Canadian Press

This offseason is familiar territory for Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman. The last time Swayman was a restricted free agent, the two sides chose the arbitration route instead of agreeing to a long-term deal. The Bruins were salary cap-strapped, and Linus Ullmark made $5 million annually at the time. The arbitration process was something that Swayman did not enjoy, and he voiced those concerns. After signing a one-year contract, Swayman is back in restricted free agent status. However, this time, the team and Swayman have opted to avoid letting a judge decide the next contract for the Alaskan native. Any NHL team is free to sign Swayman to an offer sheet, and the Bruins have avoided a deadline to sign the former UMaine star. But will another team place an offer, and what would the ramifications be? Here are the particulars:

Who Can Offer Jeremy Swayman a Contract?

A hypothetical offer sheet for Swayman would likely come in at the ’Tier Five’ range, which would need a salary of $6.87M-$9.16M and would require the signing team to send their upcoming first, second, and third-round picks to the Bruins if they are unwilling to match. Boston would likely match a max offer for Swayman even if it approaches the $9.16M range, but they would become uncomfortably close to the salary-cap ceiling for the upcoming season. Currently, the Bruins have just about $8.6 million in cap space.

The teams who could afford to make a contract offer and have a need at goaltender are the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators. Each of these teams has cap space and could use a top netminder. However, rarely do teams place offers on restricted free agents in today’s NHL unless there is a revenge factor for past trades or signings. Typically, teams do not interfere in this process as an unwritten rule.

What Will a Swayman Deal Look Like?

It is still extremely likely that the Bruins and Swayman will agree on a new deal soon. The salary and term are up for debate. The next contract for Swayman will most likely be in the seven-year range for roughly $7.5-$8 million per season. This amount would fit under the cap for Boston and also turn into an even better contract as the salary cap increases over the next few years. Will the history of negotiations between the two sides cause any lingering effects? Even though this has been a challenging process for both sides, if the team and Swayman agree on a multi-year deal, each of the parties will have a short memory.

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