The Toronto Maple Leafs elected to go to arbitration with Ilya Samsonov this offseason, and on Sunday the restricted free agent goaltender was awarded a $3.55 million salary on a one-year contract. He will be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
This result could impact the Boston Bruins and their situation with goalie Jeremy Swayman.
Swayman also needs a new contract as a restricted free agent. His arbitration hearing date is set for July 30, but both sides are able to continue negotiating and work out a deal before that.
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Samsonov's arbitration result gives the Bruins and Swayman another comparable contract to work off of during negotiations.
Here's how the two goalies compare based on their performance during the 2022-23 season.
Swayman's camp should be pretty confident they'd get at least the $3.55 million that Samsonov was awarded in arbitration. Swayman is a more talented goalie with better career stats than Samsonov. So if the Bruins are offering less than that number, maybe both sides do go to arbitration.
Swayman has the potential to be a top 10 goalie in the NHL for a long time. He ranked fourth among all goalies in both GAA and save percentage last season. He's tallied an impressive .920 save percentage over his first three seasons (88 games played) in Boston.
It would behoove the Bruins to lock up Swayman to a long-term deal, but with the salary cap expected to rise fairly significantly over the next couple years, maybe the 24-year-old netminder would prefer to take a bridge deal and cash in with a longer contract whenever there's more cap space available.