Linus Ullmark plans to retire his goalie Hug at the tip of his time with the Bruins


The hug between Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman on the ice after the victory quickly became a beloved ritual for the Bruins over the past three seasons.

However, one shouldn’t expect this routine to hold over to Ottawa now that Ullmark's tenure in Boston has come to an end.

In his first official media presence with the senators on WednesdayUllmark was asked if he plans to proceed the same tradition together with his recent goalkeeping partner Anton Forsberg.

“I'm not taking it with me to Ottawa,” Ullmark admitted. “The goalie hug we had in Boston is just for me and Sway – out of respect for what we had and what we built in our years together, and out of the respect, love and admiration I have for him.”

“There's certainly – I'm not going to say we're going to come up with something new or anything like that. There's always been the celebrations after games we win. So we'll see what happens. Who knows? Maybe there'll be a dab or something. But I'm not going to try too hard to come up with something new or anything like that. I've just got to let it flow naturally.”

Ullmark developed into one in all the NHL's best goalies during his time with Boston, winning the Vezina Trophy because the league's best goalie for the 2022-23 season. But with Swayman's promotion to Boston's franchise goalie – coupled together with his impending raise – it was clear that Ullmark's time in Boston would come to an end this summer.

Boston traded Ullmark to the Senators on Monday and received in return the twenty fifth pick within the 2024 NHL Draft, forward Mark Kastelic and goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.

Ullmark acknowledged that being transferred is a component of the job within the NHL.

“I mean, that's part of the job. There's always a time in your life or your career when you're in the trading market or something like that. And it's just business,” Ullmark said. “Once you start something, you always want to finish it.”

“But at the same time, things like this open up new opportunities. So I would have loved to win in Boston, but at the same time, I'm just as excited now and looking forward to getting the same opportunity, but in Ottawa and with the guys there.”

While Ullmark will try to lead a young and untested Ottawa team to the highest within the 2024-25 season, he delivered glowing reviews of the Bruins on Wednesday – particularly when it got here to Boston's longtime goaltending coach Bob Essensa.

“Goalie Bob is a special person in every way,” said Ullmark. “He's a great guy. He's a special person and he puts a smile on my face every time I see him, every time I'm around him. We've had our talks and discussions over the years, but there was never any bad blood and we always had a good understanding of what needed to be done.”

“And I enjoyed every single moment with him and I'm very grateful to Bobby. And I've said it before – and I really think goalie coaches should be available for induction into the Hall of Fame. And I think he's an instant Hall of Famer in that regard.”

While Ullmark's presence between the posts ought to be a giant help for a Senators team that had the team's second-worst save percentage (.884) last season, it stays to be seen if he plans to remain in Ottawa for the long haul.

Ullmark, who will turn into a free agent next summer, didn’t conform to a contract extension with Ottawa as a part of Monday's trade, which likely hurt the general return Boston received from the Senators.

Currently, Ullmark appears to be specializing in other priorities before resuming contract negotiations with the Senators.

“My biggest concern right now is finding a place to live for my family, finding schools for my kids and getting to know the people in Ottawa. … So the whole contract situation and the conversations around it are something that (Ottawa GM) Steve (Staios) and my agent will deal with on the sidelines.

“And I also told him that he can all the time reach out to me if there's anything to debate… So that's the situation immediately. And I try to not look too far ahead, I attempt to stay within the moment and never worry about what might be or what is likely to be in the longer term, but as a substitute just benefit from the present.”

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