NHL Rumors: Jeremy Swayman arbitration, top free agents still available

Today’s NHL Rumors follows up on the latest regarding Jeremy Swayman’s arbitration filings and, with Vladimir Tarasenko signed, which big names remain free agents.

Whether you are into the latest trade buzz, signing news, and more, stick with The Daily Goal Horn.

Related: What’s the holdup on an Erik Karlsson trade?

Boston Bruins and Jeremy Swayman release their respective arbitration numbers

The Boston Bruins compiled the most remarkable statistical season in NHL history in 2022-23, largely thanks to Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark. The Swedish netminder had a record of 40-6-1 in 49 games, securing 22 first-place votes to waltz away with the award

However, Ullmark worked with another star goalie, Jeremy Swayman, who collected a 24-6-4 record in 37 games to help the Bruins win 65 games. Now that the former All-Rookie netminder’s entry-level contract has expired, his performance last year puts Boston in a challenging situation financially.

Considering the 24-year-old is one of the game’s young stars of the future, the Bruins may have to come up with a few more dollars to keep the bear-hugging tandem together. Surprisingly, no other teams in the league stepped up to offer sheet Swayman, which would have created even more chaos in Boston. 

Ultimately, as a restricted free agent, Swayman filed for arbitration. On Friday, the player ($4.8 million) and the ream ($2 million) presented their numbers on paper for the first time. Although the Bruins netminder may not be worth his request yet, with a career 54-23-7 record, the club should lock him down for the long term since Ullmark only has one year left on his current deal. 

Interestingly, this situation occurred recently in Toronto, where Ilya Samsonov put in a request for $4.9 million while the Maple Leafs countered with $2.4 million. Eventually, the two sides agreed on $3.5 million, which will probably be a similar solution in Boston. 

Vladimir Tarasenko is off the market, which free agents are left? 

NHL rumors
Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

As many predicted, when the Ottawa Senators traded away Alex DeBrincat a few weeks ago, the team was clearing space to sign highly sought free agent Vladimir Tarasenko. Now that he has moved off the chessboard, many fans must wonder who is still available. 

According to CapFriendly.com, plenty of restricted free agents are still waiting for deals, but several point-producing unrestricted players are still looking for a home. Although he is rehabbing from hip surgery, Patrick Kane remains the biggest name on the board. Meanwhile, 37-year-old David Krejci doesn’t have an NHL contract, but now with Patrice Bergeron retired, he may hang them up too. 

Surprisingly, no available free agents scored more than 48 points last year, leaving Tomas Tatar as the highest-scoring player besides the two previously mentioned. Shockingly, the NHL’s iron man and now three-time Stanley Cup champion Phil Kessel is unsigned, along with veteran Zach Parise, who played on a league minimum contract ($750k) last season. 

Meanwhile, some netminders across the league are seeking employment, including Martin Jones, Alex Stalock, and Jaroslav Halak. Additionally, two big-name goalies are waiting for the outcome of their arbitration hearings: Filip Gustavsson and the aforementioned Swayman.

Realistically, opening night is more than 70 days away, giving teams plenty of time to tinker with the rosters before, during, and after training camp. Of course, a handful of available free agents will skate in the NHL this upcoming year, while others may decide to retire or seek professional hockey on another continent. Although we are in the dog days of summer, there are still a few things to sort out before the first puck drop.