BRIGHTON, Mass. – Word that the Bruins would be in the goaltending market on the July 1 open of NHL free agency apparently sent some factions of the B’s fan base and the media into a frenzy that something big was happening with Tuukka Rask or Jaroslav Halak.
Don Sweeney confirmed the Bruins would be in the goaltender market with a simple “yes” when asked about it, but left the door open for hot take speculation when he didn’t really expand on that answer.
While perhaps that would have been a reasonable assumption given Boston’s currently salary cap situation where their $12 million should be just enough to sign their own restricted free agents, it’s not what’s going on. Instead, the Bruins are in the goalie market because 26-year-old Zane McIntyre is a Group 6 unrestricted free agent, and because McIntyre really hasn’t been very good (.898 save percentage in 46 games for the P-Bruins last season) for the Black and Gold over the last couple of years either.
So the B’s are in the market for a free agent goaltender, but it’s more along the lines of a No. 3 goalie in the organization that can be the veteran alternative to young guys Daniel Vladar and Kyle Keyser at the AHL level.
Sweeney pretty much confirmed this when he talked about a potentially heavy workload for Halak early next season while the Bruins give Tuukka Rask enough rest after his two-plus months of playoff-intensity, high-stress workload.
“We’ll probably be more cognizant of [getting veteran players some rest] come September and be in a better place and be in a real good place come October because you can’t play uphill. You start on the road, and as I said, you move forward. You have to focus on what’s absolutely necessary,” said Sweeney. “I think we referenced that [Jaroslav] Halak will be part of that. If you’re really good that you’ll be in a real good spot coming out and maybe he takes the ball earlier in the year. But again, that depends on where Tuukka’s [Rask] at.”
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