With former All-Star goaltender Tuukka Rask's future with the Boston Bruins up the air, the team decided to make other arrangements, bringing aboard former Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark and hammering out a four year, $20 commitment for him to wear the black and yellow.
And although it's only been exhibition play that Ullmark has been able to suit up in game action with his new teammates, he hasn't exactly won over the hearts of fans so far.
Ullmark, who was shut down by the basement dwelling Sabres in April thanks to a lower body injury, displayed noticeable signs of rust during the exhibition season, allowing 10 goals on 62 shots for a less than spectacular .839 save percentage.
“Nothing really negative jumped out at me [from the preseason] to speak of. Obviously, Ullmark we kind of knew he’d have a slower camp than most,” explained Bruins president Cam Neely, when asked if anything concerning stuck out to him in the preseason. “He didn’t play [at the end of the season], I think his last game was in early April. So, we kind of expected a bit of a slow start from him. I know Goalie Bob [Essensa] has been working with him and getting him more reps in practice. So we’ll see where that goes as well.”
Meanwhile, second year goaltender Jeremy Swayman continues to impress team management, leading some to believe that it could be Swayman who gets the start when his team begins the season on October 16 against Dallas.
“It looks to me like he has a bright future. Goaltending is a unique position as everybody knows and I think Jeremy has a really great head on his shoulders,” said Neely. “He seems a lot more mature than he is on the ice [at 22 years old] and off the ice he’s really the same way. He practices hard. He out there on the ice for as long as guys want to shoot on him.
“He’s a competitor as well. That’s what I’ve really liked about our goaltending from the past and Jeremy really likes to compete. He’s no different.”
Prior to signing with the Bruins this offseason, the 163rd overall pick by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2012 NHL Draft has appeared in 117 career games, posting a record of 50-47-13 with a 2.78 goals against average, .913 save percentage and three shutouts.