Sending Swayman to the AHL was the Bruins’ only choice

Dec 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) adjusts his glove during the second period of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman (1) adjusts his glove during the second period of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /
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You may not like it, I may not like it, heck, I think some in the Boston Bruins organization don’t like it. But sending Jeremy Swayman back to the AHL was the Bruins’ only choice.

With Tuukka Rask returning on a one-year, $1 million deal for this season, it meant the Bruins had three goaltenders in the NHL – Rask, Swayman and Linus Ullmark. Someone theoretically needed to go.

The choice was made to send Swayman down to the Providence Bruins. The rookie is waivers-exempt and he could go right down without the worry of some other team picking him up.

It stinks to see considering how well Swayman was performing but the 23-year-old Anchorage, Alaska native will be back in the NHL in no time.

Swayman is the future of the Bruins, not the now

It’s clear Swayman doesn’t necessarily need more time to develop. But at such a young age, it doesn’t hurt.

The young goaltender made 16 starts for the Bruins this season, splitting time with Ullmark. He posted a 8-6-2 record with a .918 SV%, a 2.26 GAA and a shutout.  Those are very, very good numbers, especially at that age.

What happens now is Swayman will go down to Providence and build the confidence back up. There’s no denying the disappointment that came with the decision.

And that’s the thing – the writing was on the wall for some time now. It’s not like the Bruins shocked everyone in the organization and traded for some top goaltender out of nowhere. It’s not like the signed a veteran guy for no reason.

A Rask return to Boston was clear. And it was clear Swayman was the odd one out. With Ullmark having a full no-movement clause in the first two years of his contract, the chances of him getting dealt were, well, none. Yes, hypothetically the Bruins COULD have asked him to wave it, but what kind of message is that sending to prospective free agents? “Hey, we’ll give you this no-movement clause and then when push comes to shove, we’re going to need you to wave that anyway?” Yeah no shot.

Would the Bruins have been fine with Swayman-Ullmark tandem the rest of the season? Yeah probably. Goaltending is still not the main issue with this group and it hasn’t been this season.

But when you have a chance to bring in a player with the talent and resume like Rask, you make some adjustments. Swayman will go down, dominate in the AHL, build his confidence up, be available if one of the two get hurt and prime himself to be the goalie of the future.

light. Related Story. Rask signs one-year deal to return to Bruins

It’s not the end of the world. It’s a slight dip in what is looking like is going to be an excellent career for Swayman.