Jaroslav Halak reportedly is working on a deal that will send him to the Pacific Coast.
The veteran netminder is not returning to the Bruins after a three-year run with Boston, sending him to unrestricted free agency for the first time since 2018.
With free agency set to open Wednesday at noon ET, it doesn’t appear he’ll be waiting long to make a decision. According to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple, Halak is working on a deal with the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks are a great landing spot for Halak. At this stage of his career, Halak is a high-end backup or 1B goalie instead of a full-time starter. After buying out Braden Holtby, the Canucks are making clear they are all in with Thatcher Demko as their top netminder, which would leave Halak to be the perfect safety net.
Last season, Halak finished with a 9-6-4 recording, posting two shutouts with a .905 save percentage and 2.53 goals against average. He missed a significant chunk of time with COVID-19, which allowed for the emergence of Jeremy Swayman and Dan Vladar. Swayman ultimately won the backup goalie job heading into the postseason.
In the end, Halak was a key figure for the Bruins the last three years. Having him around eased the burden on Tuukka Rask, which allowed Boston to play its two netminders more evenly, thus keeping Rask fresh for the playoffs.