Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark blocks a shot by Florida’s Matthew Tkachuk as Boston’s Hampus Lindholm defends during a game in April. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Linus Ullmark made it clear he wants to stay in Boston. He’s made the city his hockey home, and the comfort level for his family and him is a high priority.

But, as the Bruins goalie said, he doesn’t live in a “shed in the woods.” He has heard the trade talk. He’s seen how good his friend Jeremy Swayman has become. And with a 16-team no-trade list – which goes to a 15-team list on July 1 – he knows he has some but not complete control of his future.

When first asked about his future, he said how excited he was for a “revenge” tour with the one year he has remaining on his deal.

Ullmark, however, knows the score. He reportedly nixed a deal at the trade deadline. That may not be the last time the Bruins try to move him. It’s been great having two No. 1 caliber goaltenders, but with the pay bump that Swayman (currently at $3.475 million) will undoubtedly get this summer, Ullmark and his $5 million salary might be a luxury the Bruins can no longer afford. The team also has Brandon Bussi, who has shown in Providence that he’s ready to take the next step in his career. He’s a restricted free agent, but he’ll make a fraction of what Ullmark is scheduled to make.

When meeting with reporters on Sunday, Ullmark was as polite and jovial as he usually is. But he admitted that being in this position has been tough.

“I’ve never been a part of any trade talks before, so that was a new experience. Was it hard? Yeah, it was hard. Because you’re very comfortable where you are. You don’t want to move when you feel like you’re playing well and you have the team and you have the teammates,” said Ullmark. “But with that popping out now, I’m not the only one who’s had trade talks, obviously. There were other goaltenders out there in the league that there was a lot of rumors with that they might get dealt.


“I don’t have the luxury to choose that. If I could, I’d probably say the same thing as everyone else, which is ‘I want to stay, and I’m going to stay.’ But we live in that world where in professional sports, you’ve got to deal with the hand you’ve been dealt and, like I said, I have one more year. I wouldn’t want anything else than to come back here and have a little bit of a revenge tour. I’m very excited and motivated for what’s to come.”

He does have the partial no-trade clause and he’s not going to apologize for it. As he said, not only did he work for it, but players before him worked so that such a clause could be inserted into contracts with teams that desperately need a player at a certain moment. He wasn’t about to share the teams that are on his no-trade list, either.

He did hint that circumstances could change. When asked if it was safe to assume that he wanted to play on the East Coast so that he and his family could more easily get back home to Sweden, the 2023 Vezina Trophy winner said not necessarily.

“It all depends. It’s very hard. We don’t have all these luxuries to say I don’t want to be in certain areas,” said Ullmark. “There might be other things throughout your career. Let’s say for example, you have one team that would be on the West Coast that is really, really bad and you have them on your (no-trade) list. But then all of a sudden maybe three years later, they’re not. They might be a contender. You just look at Edmonton, or whatever. Those teams that might have been really bad but now are really good. You might want to waive at that point. But you can’t really think about that in advance. How are these teams going to be in three or four years. You can’t really looking into your ball and see in the future and say this is where I want to go. It might go to (crap) as well.”

Ullmark is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025. While his family’s comfort level is extremely important, it would also behoove him to play as much as he can next season to earn that next best possible contract. Perhaps a potential trade partner is willing to offer an extension to get a deal done.

But one thing that seems certain is that Ullmark, who will be 31 on July 31, is not ready to become a backup. He was not just a good soldier during the playoffs, he was a great one. But it wasn’t effortless.

“So this is the thing about playing professional sports. One of the hardest things is to be off to the side because you want the team to succeed, but you want it to succeed with you as well,” said Ullmark. “It’s definitely one of the hardest things, but I wasn’t alone in it, obviously. There were other guys that wanted to play as well. But I thought that having the support system that I had and the conversations I had with the people around it, I felt that I did what I could…I did what needed to be done. I tried to carry myself very professionally and support every single one of my fellow teammates throughout this stretch.”

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