The Boston Bruins have some big names to re-sign this offseason. Trade deadline acquisition Taylor Hall is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) as well as career-long Bruins in center David Krejci and goaltender Tuukka Rask. All three have expressed interest in re-signing with Boston, with Krejci and Rask saying they would rather leave the NHL than play for another team.
However, the B’s also have some smaller names that will be hitting free agency on July 28. Backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak recently made it clear that he most likely will not be back in the Black and Gold next season.
Just two days ago, Halak’s agent, Allan Walsh, told Matt Porter of the Boston Globe that Halak will not be returning to the B’s. He will hit the free agent market.
With that, I say good luck to Mr. Halak with whatever team he signs with. He’s still a very serviceable NHL backup goaltender, but it’s time for the B’s to move on with youngsters Jeremy Swayman and Dan Vladar seemingly ready to play in the NHL.
It isn’t surprising that Jaroslav Halak and the Bruins are parting ways.
This separation could be seen from a mile away. Although the B’s interest in Halak might’ve grown a bit after learning that Rask would be out half of next season because of hip surgery, it was quite clear that neither side had much interest in each other.
After two very good seasons for the B’s in 2018-19 and 2019-20 where Halak posted a .922 save percentage (SV%) and 2.34 goals-against average (GAA) and then a .919 SV% and 2.39 GAA, respectively, Halak tailed off a bit this season registering just a .905 SV% and 2.53 GAA.
It was very apparent that Boston was ready to move on from the 36-year-old netminder when they allowed Swayman to take Halak’s backup spot for the playoffs. Don’t get me wrong, Swayman absolutely deserved the spot over Halak.
With Halak being out the previous two weeks due to COVID-19 and not really given a chance to get back into game shape, he probably felt a bit disrespected. This most likely trashed any chance of Halak having any interest in returning to the Black and Gold.
Again, I wish Halak nothing but the best in his future endeavors. Over his three seasons with the B’s he had a .918 SV%, 2.40 GAA, .590 quality start percentage (QS%), and 10 shutouts in 90 games (83 starts). Additionally, alongside Rask, the duo brought home the Jennings Trophy in 2019-20.