Former Bruin and longtime NHL analyst Mike Milbury believes Tuukka Rask’s return will be a good thing for the Bruins this season. But during his weekly appearance on The Greg Hill Show, Milbury also expressed concern about how it will affect Jeremy Swayman, who was sent down to AHL Providence to make room for Rask.
Milbury thinks things will probably be fine for the rest of the season, but wondered what happens if Rask wants to play beyond this season. Combined with Linus Ullmark’s contract, which includes a no-movement clause, it would seemingly mean there would continue to be no spot for Swayman.
“If you’re Jeremy Swayman, you have to be incredibly disappointed,” Milbury said. “…How does he make the team [next season] if they re-sign Rask? Then there’s no way he can make the team for another year and a half. It’s a bizarre position for the franchise’s future goaltender, and it’ll be interesting to watch what happens to him over the next little while.”
Jermaine Wiggins then brought up the possibility of using Swayman as a trade chip. Given his age, upside and what he’s already done at the NHL level, Swayman could certainly serve as the centerpiece of a blockbuster trade to land a major piece to help the Bruins.
Milbury said that if the Bruins think the 34-year-old Rask is going to play beyond this season, he would at least consider it.
“If this kid is not going to be available to the Bruins for the next year and a half, I’d have to say yeah, you have to take a look at it,” Milbury said. “If somebody wants to try to give us a really good chip or a really good prospect, then maybe you take a look at it. It’s such a bizarre turn of events. I haven’t seen anything quite like this in a long time.
“But you don’t want to give up -- he’s a blue-chip prospect. He’s a potential number one goaltender for the next 10, 12 years. So I’m not giving him away, but given the circumstances and given where we’ve twisted his brain around, I think maybe you have to think about it.”
Listen to the full interview with Milbury below. The discussion about Swayman starts at the 4:20 mark.