A bitter end to his three-season Boston tenure did not cool off Jaroslav Halak’s name on the free agent market, as the veteran netminder has reportedly inked a one-year deal worth up to $3 million the Vancouver Canucks.
Halak had been rumored to sign with the Canucks since the week began, really, and it was former NHL Network and now ESPN hockey analyst Kevin Weekes who came through with the financials, noting that Halak’s deal with the Canucks came with a $1.5 million base and another $1.5 million in potential bonuses.
With Boston for the previous three seasons, Halak compiled a 49-23-14 record and .918 save percentage as Tuukka Rask’s backup during his time with the Bruins, and was part of the B’s tandem that captured the Jennings Trophy as the league’s stingiest duo in 2019-20.
But as mentioned, Halak’s ending in town was certainly not what he expected when he signed on for another year during the 2020 COVID break, as Halak lost his job to Jeremy Swayman following a prolonged COVID-related absence and was unable to make a strong enough push upon his return to begin (or end) the postseason as Rask’s backup.
Halak did not speak with the media at the end of the season, and his agent, Allan Walsh, confirmed to the Boston Globe that Halak and the Bruins were going their separate ways long before the Vancouver rumors started.
The Bruins, meanwhile, will reportedly scour the market for a veteran goaltending option to help push rookies Jeremy Swayman and Daniel Vladar in training camp and in the 2021-22 until Tuukka Rask’s expected return following hip surgery.
“We’re certainly exploring all of our options, including with Tuukka [Rask’s] surgery coming up and the unknown, a little bit, in terms of how that’s going to become with the surgery,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said last week when asked about his goaltending depth. “We are looking to address from the depth perspective and add to that group. We have some flexibility in that regard. We think very highly of both goaltenders in Jeremy [Swayman] and Daniel [Vladar].
“We feel like we’re in good shape, depth-wise, organizationally, but we’re probably going to look to add to that group and have a little bit of veteran presence there that could offset both those guys.”
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.