Recently, the Boston Bruins announced that they have resigned one-half of their goalie tandem, locking up goaltender Jaroslav Halak on a two-year, $5.5 million contract extension. This deal locks up the Bruins’ backup position for the foreseeable future, with the salary having an AAV of $2.25 million.
Personally, I am indifferent about this deal. Do not let that distract you from the fact that I am a massive Jaro fan. He is the most undervalued player on this team (along with Matt Grzelcyk), and a lot of the team’s success is attributed to his ability to be a lockdown netminder when giving Rask his rest.
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However, during perhaps the most uncertain time in the league’s history regarding the salary cap, it’s surprising to see Sweeney start off aggressive like this. With Boston only projected to have ~$18 million in space left after this deal, it is clear that Sweeney is willing to let some pieces walk, and with key players like Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara, and Jake DeBrusk all needing new deals this offseason, I am hoping this deal doesn’t force one of these names out of Boston.
It should also be noted that Boston has one of the most piping hot prospect lines for goaltenders in the league. Their goalies playing in Providence tore up the AHL scene, while Kyle Keyser had some time in the ECHL. In addition, the Bruins managed to lock up 2017 fourth-round pick Jeremy Swayman from the University of Maine. Swayman racked up 10 individual NCAA honors, including the Walter Brown Award, NCAA (New England) MVP, Hockey East player of the year, as well as being named to the Hockey East and NCAA First All-Star and All-American teams, respectively.
Jaroslav Halak Career Stats
If there was any place where the Bruins could’ve potentially tried to save money, it would’ve been at the backup-goalie position. However, I am clearly not the general manager, but it is clear that Sweeney believes Halak is a crucial part of this roster. With that being said, this means that either Sweeney thinks he can get the rest of the deals done under the projected cap, or that Halak’s name is more valuable to this team than some of the other potential free agents this offseason. We’ll have to wait to find out.