Jeremy Swayman and Bruins avoid second-straight arbitration


Swayman expressed his discomfort with arbitration last year, but he won’t have to worry about going through the process again this offseason.

Jeremy Swayman is still a top priority for the Bruins this offseason. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

A Jeremy Swayman contract extension is a top priority for the Bruins this offseason, as GM Don Sweeney stated at Boston’s end-of-season press conference in May.

One development that should come as a relief for both sides — and give optimism that a long-term extension is within reach — is that the Bruins and Swayman won’t be heading into arbitration this season.

Swayman publicly expressed his desire to never go through arbitration again after dealing with the process in 2023. Sweeney recalled that period back in May and emphasized that it was “not an indication of whether or not we believed in Jeremy Swayman.”

The deadline for Swayman to file arbitration passed at 5 p.m. on Friday, and clubs had another 24 hours following that window to file with a player. Both deadlines passed with neither deciding a third-party council was necessary this year.

Arbitration is used when a player and team cannot agree to terms on a new contract, which commonly revolves around the player’s salary. Last season, the Bruins and Swayman were too far apart to come together on a deal. So, avoiding arbitration is a positive indicator that Boston and its clear-cut No. 1 goaltender are more on the same page this time around.

The Bruins traded away Linus Ullmark to the Ottawa Senators at the start of NHL free agency, making an even stronger commitment to Swayman as their everyday starter between the posts. The 25-year-old took command of Boston’s net late last season and started nearly every game in Boston’s postseason run.

As far as what’s next for Swayman, the netminder remains a restricted free agent. So, teams may offer him a contract, but Boston retains the right to match any offer to keep Swayman in the black and gold sweater.

The Bruins spent a hefty chunk of their salary cap on a few key upgrades, namely center Elias Lindholm previously of the Vancouver Canucks. However, there is still plenty of money left over to ink a lucrative, long-term deal with their All-Star and a face of the franchise for years to come.

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