EntertainmentSports

Linus Ullmark: The Ottawa Senators Acquire New Starting Goalie, But Will He Stay Beyond Next Season?

After almost eight months on the job, Steve Staios finally orchestrated his first significant move as the general manager of the Ottawa Senators.

The Senators have acquired goaltender Linus Ullmark from the Boston Bruins in exchange for the 25th overall pick in the upcoming draft (originally Boston’s), centre Mark Kastelic, and goalie Joonas Korpisalo. Ottawa will retain 25% of Korpisalo’s salary as part of the deal. 

The deal for Ullmark, the 2023 Vezina Trophy winner, marks a significant upgrade in Ottawa’s goaltending for the upcoming season. It also sheds $12 million of the $16 million left on Korpisalo’s contract, spread out over four years.

The immediate focus now shifts to whether Ullmark will commit to a longer stay in Ottawa. With just one year left on his contract, he will become an unrestricted free agent after the upcoming season. He’s eligible to sign an extension as of next week, but he’ll almost certainly want to see what Ottawa is all about before even considering that.

In an interview on TSN 1200 on Tuesday, Staios was asked if it’s a priority for him to speak to Ullmark and his agent next week about quickly completing a possible extension. 

“That will all be part of the process, no doubt,” Staios said. “The next steps will be further down the line on having Linus long-term for us. Those conversations will certainly be a priority, and we’ll continue to work towards that.”

Regardless of Ullmark’s future decision on an extension, the Senators clearly weren’t interested in running it back with Korpisalo, much less having to honour the money and term left on his contract. Getting out from under that deal, signed by former GM Pierre Dorion, was as big a part of the trade as Ullmark was.

Ullmark arrives in Ottawa following a successful stint in Boston, highlighted by winning the 2023 Vezina Trophy and leading the league in goals-against average (1.89) during the 2021-22 season.

Those numbers are hard not to like, even though they came behind a much more efficient Boston defence. Staios is also a fan of Ullmark off the ice.

“The calibre of person that he is fits exactly what we’re looking to build from a culture perspective,” Staios said. “He’s just an outstanding man and a family man. I think, in the words of Michael Landlauer, the types of people and character that we’re trying to bring in here, I think he fits perfectly for us.”

But fitting in is a two-way street. Only time will tell if Ullmark likes Ottawa and the Senators as much as they like him. It might end up being a match made in heaven, or we may be looking at a sequel to the Alex DeBrincat story.

Related posts
Sports

Welcomes and Goodbyes: Ottawa Senators Turn the Page on Mathieu Joseph and Several Others

Ottawa Senators GM Steve Staios made his first NHL Free Agent Frenzy memorable, remodel his roster…
Read more
EntertainmentSports

Meet Ottawa Senators’ Star of the Future Carter Yakemchuk

The Ottawa Senators hope their seventh overall selection at the 2024 NHL Draft in Las Vegas is a…
Read more
FeatureSports

From Barrhaven to the Bigs: A Breakout NHL Season For Mackenzie Weegar

By Steve Warne Barrhaven’s MacKenzie Weegar was one of the NHL’s hidden gems at the 2013…
Read more