Boston Bruins

Will B's sign Swayman to extension? Here are the latest reports, comments

Swayman became eligible for an extension on Jan. 1

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The Boston Bruins have several players eligible to be an unrestricted or restricted free agent in the summer, and the two most notable names on that list are goaltender Jeremy Swayman and winger Jake DeBrusk.

Swayman's situation is the more interesting one.

The 25-year-old goalie has already established himself as one of the team's most important players. He has tallied a 13-3-7 record with a .922 save percentage and a 2.38 GAA in 24 appearances this season. He ranks No. 3 in save percentage (.920) since the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

Swayman is able to become a restricted free agent in July. He was an RFA last offseason and ultimately went to arbitration, where an independent arbitrator awarded him a $3.475 million salary on a one-year contract. Swayman has been candid when talking about the arbitration process. He didn't enjoy it, to say the least, although he has said that there's "no ill-will" toward the team.

He surprisingly brought up the arbitration process on Saturday night when asked about making the NHL All-Star Game for the first time.

“First and foremost, it couldn’t have happened without the team in front of me,” Swayman told reporters after Boston's win over the Blues in St. Louis. “I’m so lucky to have such a defensive-structured team that takes pride in the D-zone and, of course, gets it done in the offensive zone. So huge kudos to them for allowing this to happen. But yeah, after dealing with what I did this summer with arbitration, hearing things that a player should never hear, it feels pretty special to be in this situation. So, I’m extremely honored and I’m really excited to join (Pastrnak) and (coach Jim Montgomery).”

Here's what Swayman said when asked about these arbitration comments after Monday's victory over the New Jersey Devils.

“I think it was a great learning experience. I’m not gonna lean on it. It’s already happened — what’s happened has happened,” Swayman told reporters. “I’m living in the present moment. And again, it just goes back to the experience. And I wouldn’t be the human being I am, I wouldn’t be the player I am if I didn’t go through it — if I didn’t have the years in college, and I didn’t have the years of junior [hockey], and the years in the NHL. So I’m grateful for everything that’s come my way and I’m excited for what’s to come."

The timing of Swayman's comments on Saturday were interesting, given that he recently became eligible for an extension.

Jeremy Swayman
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 15, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) makes a shoulder save against the New Jersey Devils during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

However, Swayman has had nothing but good things to say about the Bruins and Boston since the arbitration process concluded. Swayman said in August that he "couldn't be happier" to be a Bruin. His agent, Lewis Gross, had a similar message when asked about Swayman during last Friday's episode of the "32 Thoughts" podcast with Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek.

“Jeremy loves Boston. Jeremy loves being a Bruin,” Gross said. “It's a great organization. He's a great young goaltender, confident as can be. And as good as he is on the ice – I was just with him in Boston, and he's equally as good off the ice. He has time for everybody. We went to watch Maine play Boston University, and I think it took us almost 30 minutes to get out of the building. (He was) stopping and not just signing autographs, but talking to people. He actually is such an incredible young man. And I know the Bruins know that, and we're gonna hopefully work out a deal that everybody's gonna be happy with.”

ESPN's Emily Kaplan wrote last Thursday that "Swayman was eligible for an extension on Jan. 1, and a few people have told me to expect that to get done soon."

Getting an extension done before the summer would be the smartest route for both the Bruins and Swayman. Swayman could be a core player for the Bruins for the next decade, and with plenty of salary cap space in the summer (potentially as much as $25 million, per CapFriendly), the team has more than enough financial flexibility to find a deal.

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