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Signing Jeremy Swayman to a long-term deal is a priority for Bruins this offseason

Extending Jeremy Swayman a priority for Bruins in what should be an "aggressive" offseason
Extending Jeremy Swayman a priority for Bruins in what should be an "aggressive" offseason 02:19

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins are not happy with the fact that they are discussing their offseason plans instead of still playing in the NHL playoffs. After losing to the Florida Panthers in the second round, the team's top brass is promising an "aggressive" offseason to make sure the team goes on a deep playoff run in 2025.

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has a lot to do this offseason, and he has a good chunk of cap space to try and get it done. With about $22 million in available salary, Sweeney should have the ability to add some scoring punch to what was a punch-less Bruins offense for large stretches of the postseason. The Bruins have a solid core with captain Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy, but Sweeney will be on the hunt to find players who can make them even better.

"We're going to be aggressive to be able to complement what we currently have in some areas," Sweeney told reporters at TD Garden on Wednesday, highlighting players who "create more anxiety on the forecheck" as something they'll be looking for this summer.

"It's hard to get in [to the playoffs] and hard to continue to win. I have to find players that compliment our current group and push it forward," Sweeney added.

The Bruins need to find a top center for Pastrnak to play beside, and finding another scoring winger will become a priority if Jake DeBrusk signs a bigger deal elsewhere. But Sweeney highlighted another priority for the team: Extending goaltender Jeremy Swayman.

After a tumultuous arbitration process last offseason, Sweeney would love to get his 25-year-old goalie signed to a long-term extension. Swayman was Boston's best player throughout their playoff run after establishing himself as one of the best netminders in the NHL during the regular season.

"It's clearly a priority," Sweeney said of locking in Swayman, who is a restricted free agent this summer. "We clearly engaged in conversation during the regular season to find a longer term extension. We haven't gotten there yet. He's a big part of our current team and our future."

While the Bruins have enjoyed the luxury of having two top goaltenders in Swayman and Linus Ullmark, moving Ullmark this offseason would be an easy way to free up another $5 million. Those funds could go to the bigger payday that Swayman will command this summer.

Ullmark is heading into the final year of his contract, but has made it clear that he wants to remain in Boston. His no-trade clause, which will go from 16 teams to 15 teams on July 1, might make it difficult for the Bruins to move him. They had a deal with the L.A. Kings at the trade deadline during the regular season, but Ullmark nixed it.

"We're going to explore opportunities. My phone is going to ring and I'm going to make calls," said Sweeney. "That's what the job requires."

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