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Off-Season Watch: Sens ramping up push for Ullmark


While the Stanley Cup Final continues, the NHL's off-season is rapidly approaching with the NHL Draft starting on June 28 and Free Agent Frenzy on July 1. keeps you up to date with all the latest rumours and speculation from around the NHL beat.

All Eyes on Ullmark?

After the Calgary Flames moved Jacob Markstrom to the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins appears to be the top option remaining in goal on the trade market.

Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia reports the Ottawa Senators stepped up their efforts to acquire Ullmark on Wednesday as the door closed on Markstrom. He notes that talks between the two teams have intensified and wonders if the Senators may be the only serious team left in the mix for the goaltender. 

Garrioch adds that the Senators have also "kicked tires" on Nashville Predators star netminder Juuse Saros. There remains a strong chance, though, that Saros stays put in Nashville this summer.

The Senators were among the team's to make a push for Ullmark at the trade deadline, but Bruins ultimately elected to keep their goalie tandem intact. With Jeremy Swayman in need of a new deal as a restricted free agent this summer, Ullmark, who's signed through next season at a $5 million cap hit, appears to be firmly on the trade block. 

The 30-year-old went 22-10-7 with the Bruins this season, posting a .915 save percentage and a 2.55 goals-against average. He appeared in just two games for Boston during the postseason, going 0-1 with a 3.90 GAA and a .886 save percentage. 

Garrioch reports the Senators previously offered goaltender Joonas Korpisalo as part of their package for Ullmark, but the Bruins are unwilling to take on his $4 million cap hit, with four years left on his deal. He adds the Bruins could have some interest in taking back Anton Forsberg, who is entering the last year of his deal at a cap hit of $2.75 million. 

Garrioch also reiterates that the Senators would likely have to offer defenceman Jakob Chychrun, a first-round pick and an additional draft pick to pry Ullmark from Boston, though it remains unknown if Ottawa is on his 15-team no-trade list.

The Senators hold their own pick at No. 7 overall in this month's draft and the Bruins' first-rounder at No. 25 overall, which was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings last summer. 

Ottawa's pursuit of a goaltender has been well documented since their season came to an end after Korpisalo and Forsberg both struggled last season.

“We’re not happy with the goaltending tandem, but I don’t think the goaltending tandem was happy with the goaltending tandem,” senior vice president Dave Poulin said at a season-ticket holders event earlier this month. “If you talk to both guys, and we have, they weren’t pleased with their season. They weren’t pleased with it numerically, statistically or from an analytics standpoint.

“We take it a step further, where the goals are scored, breakdowns on the ice, cross-ice passes, where the shots are coming from and the quality of chances. We didn’t help our goalies very much. We’ve studied from every detail possible. We have to improve our goaltending situation. Can that come from the two goaltenders we have? It can, but that’s still to be determined.

“We’ve chatted with people around the league who are in different situations. One thing with Joonas Korpisalo, you have to look at some off-ice factors as well. It was his first-long term contract, he came in, he had a new baby and, quite frankly, the defence in front of him wasn’t as good as it was in L.A. He played so well for them down the stretch. There’s a lot of different factors and we’re still working hard on it.”

Korpisalo finished his first season in Ottawa with a 21-26-4 record and .890 save percentage after a inking a five-year contract in free agency last July. Forsberg went 15-12-0 with a .890 save percentage.

A landing spot for Marner?

TSN Hockey Analyst Kevin Weekes wonders whether the Los Angeles Kings could be a landing spot for Toronto Maple Leafs star Mitch Marner after moving Pierre-Luc Dubois on Wednesday.

The Kings sent Dubois to the Washington Capitals in exchange for goaltender Darcy Kuemper, freeing $3.25 million in cap space. Kuemper's $5.25 million cap hit will come off their books in 2026-27, while Dubois' contract at a cap hit of $8.5 million runs through 2030-31.

Weekes notes that the Kings are now content at goaltender with Kuemper and David Rittich between the pipes for next season, allowing the team go big-game hunting.

"Why not go Mitch Marner hunting? Not limited to, but why not?" Weekes asked while appearing on OverDrive.

After the trade, CapFriendly projects the Kings to have $23.45 million in cap space this off-season with just 13 players under contract for next season. Quinton Byfield headlines the team's five restricted free agents in need of new deals this summer.

Marner, 27, is signed through the upcoming season at a cap hit of $10.9 million. It remains unclear whether the Maple Leafs will consider moving him and TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported this week he believes general manager Brad Treliving would rather extend the winger. Marner also owns a full no-move clause in his contract. 


Another 'Yost Bomb?'

TSN Hockey analytics writer Travis Yost stepped into the world of the Insiders Wednesday, breaking the trade that Jacob Markstrom to the Devils.

It appears Yost may be at it again, though he gave his less details this time around. 

"Believe the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers have the framework of a trade in place as well, though this one may go closer to the Draft," Yost posted Wednesday afternoon. 

Speculation has run wild in the replies as it remains completely unclear who could be involved in the trade. 

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