With the Buffalo Sabres division rival looking to potentially enter rebuilding mode, will it clear a path for a potential return of Linus Ullmark?
Linus Ullmark manned the Buffalo Sabres net from 2015 until 2021. In that time span, he compiled a 50-47-13 record in 112 starts and 117 games played. While Ullmark never made the playoffs with the Sabres, he posted one of his best seasons in the ill-fated 2020-21 campaign, finishing 9-6-3 with a 0.917 save percentage and a 2.63 goals allowed average.
He then went on to the Sabres division rival, the Boston Bruins, finishing 26-10-2 in 39 starts. Ullmark had a career-best 2.45 GAA and a 0.917 save percentage, which to date is his best season overall.
He looked as though he would stay in Boston at least through the duration of his contract, which expires after the 2024-25 season. Then the Bruins started showing signs of a complete rebuild, leaving Ullmark’s future in doubt with the team.
Will the Buffalo Sabres trade for former goaltender Linus Ullmark?
While it’s often absurd to believe a team would trade such a talented player to a division rival, Ullmark is a unique case. With the Bruins potentially looking to clean house and rebuild, they should have no qualms trading Ullmark to someone within the division.
And with the Sabres looking to contend at least for a wild card, they could easily give the Bruins more than what they want for Ullmark. Most likely, it will be draft picks in 2023-24, and prospects the Sabres could do without that Boston wouldn’t mind taking a flyer on.
You can also expect them to add a player on the active roster to the list if it means bringing in, or bringing back, a talent like Ullmark. Someone like Casey Mittelstadt, despite the fact it is hard to give up on him, could also be part of that trade.
My proposal would look like this: Mid-round picks in 2023/24, Casey Mittelstadt, Linus Weissbach for Linus Ullmark.
We will soon find out if the Bruins are willing to part ways with Ullmark, or if he even wants to be part of yet another rebuild. If signs point to him leaving Boston, then look for the Sabres to potentially trade for who just might be the franchise goaltender after the dust settles.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference)