Bruins Sending Jeremy Swayman To Providence As Tuukka Rask Returns

Swayman is not eligible for the taxi squad

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Jeremy Swayman will report to AHL Providence on Wednesday as Tuukka Rask makes his long-awaited return to Boston, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney confirmed.

The Bruins on Tuesday officially signed Rask, who hasn’t played since last season after undergoing hip surgery during his free-agent summer. The longtime Bruins netminder, who had been working out with his former team, returned to the club on a one-year deal worth $1 million after signing a professional tryout contract with Providence, though he did not play in the AHL due to COVID-related postponements.

Sweeney, speaking to reporters via Zoom on Tuesday evening, said he “had a conversation” with Swayman earlier in the day and the 23-year-old, who has split time in net with Linus Ullmark this season, was “disappointed” by the news.

“Jeremy took it in stride as a professional,” Sweeney said. “He’s extremely motivated to be a top-flight goaltender, which we believe in. He knows that, the commitment we made to him. Part of that was this summer, trading a good young goaltender in Daniel Vladar and allowing Jeremy to play Opening Night for that matter.”

Sweeney said Swayman is not eligible to be part of the taxi squad, a group of up to six players that count as AHL players in terms of the salary cap but can be recalled to the NHL club to prevent postponements related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Still, Sweeney said he expects Swayman to “play a big role” with the big club in the event of an injury or COVID issue.

“He knows he’s a big part of our current team, as well as moving forward,” Sweeney said. “Most importantly, he’s got a hell of a long career in front of him as a Boston Bruin.”

Swayman appeared in 16 games for Boston, posting an 8-6-2 record with a 2.26 goals against average and .918 save percentage. Ullmark, who Boston signed in free agency during the offseason, has posted almost equal stats in the same amount of games, with an 11-5 record, 2.57 GAA and .917 save percentage.

Ullmark will start for the Bruins on Wednesday when they host the Montreal Canadiens, Sweeney confirmed. Puck drop for that game is at 7 p.m. ET.

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