“I think [the Bruins] track record speaks for itself,” Foligno said. “Playing against them all these years, they’re a team that I’ve admired from afar. Their culture, their structure. They’re always in the thick of it. They’re always a team that seems to have a chance to win on any given night and also in the postseason. So that, topped with a conversation I got to have with [Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron], which was really cool just being able to speak to Patrice and kind of pick his brain a little bit [and] how excited they would be to have me join. That excites you as a player. I think it’s one thing to hear it from a GM or a coach, but when you can get a teammate lobbying to try and get you on their team, especially somebody with his respect in the league and the way he plays, it meant a lot to me and carried a lot of weight.”
Foligno, a 33-year-old forward, received two years and $7.6 million (average annual value of $3.8 million). He scored 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 49 regular-season games for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets last season, including four assists in seven games after he was acquired by Toronto on April 11 as part of a three-team trade that included the San Jose Sharks.
Selected by the Ottawa Senators in the first round (No. 28) of the 2006 NHL Draft, Foligno has scored 486 points (203 goals, 283 assists) in 957 regular-season games with the Maple Leafs, Blue Jackets and Senators, and 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 55 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Ullmark got four years and $20 million ($5 million AAV). The 27-year-old was 9-6-3 with a 2.63 goals-against average and .917 save percentage for the Buffalo Sabres last season. He missed the final month of the season with a lower-body injury.
“Ever since we started the whole process, it felt right,” Ullmark said. “We had our conversations going all the way through the summer with Buffalo. Didn’t work out in the end. … When we started that whole process [with Boston], the longer the day went by it just felt better and better, so very excited about what’s to come.
“I probably have the highest expectations. I don’t really think that anyone from the outside can match that. I always strive to be the best, even though it might not be as a goaltender, it might be as a person as well. But definitely you would be a fool not to think of the Stanley Cup as your main goal, and the thing that we want to achieve. And for me, I’m really looking forward to getting to know everybody first and foremost, and then you kind of build upon that trust factor. It’s tough to say what my expectations are because it’s just about being better than I was last season and trying to top that and just keep on playing hockey and enjoying it.”
Ullmark could start next season as Boston’s No. 1 goalie. Tuukka Rask is an unrestricted free agent and expected to miss the start of the season after having surgery for a torn labrum. The 34-year-old was 15-5-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and two shutouts in 24 regular-season games for the Bruins last season. He was 6-4 with a 2.36 GAA and .919 save percentage in 11 playoff games.
Jaroslav Halak left Boston to sign a one-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks for $1.5 million and another $1.5 million in performance bonus eligibility, and Dan Vladar was traded to the Calgary Flames for a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Jeremy Swayman, 22, was 7-3-0 with a 1.50 GAA, .945 save percentage and two shutouts in 10 games last season.
“We’re fortunate to have the opportunity to bring a goaltender in at a primary age, wealth of experience, and we just think that where we were currently sitting with two young goaltenders, we need to be prepared, allow Tuukka all the time he needs to get healthy,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. “He’s just had surgery, spoke with him this morning, [he’s] doing very well. And we’re just going to go through the process and go from there. We’ve always left the door open for Tuukka to return, and I think it just allows Jeremy to continue to progress at a natural rate but also give him opportunity to be at the NHL level.
“As you could see, we gave Daniel an opportunity to go to Calgary and establish himself there. They were excited to have him, so a little bit of a musical chair shuffle. But for all the right reasons we just felt we’ve had very strong goaltending. We wanted to continue to have that, and it was a unique opportunity to explore having Linus join our group, and we’re excited about that.”
Forwards Tomas Nosek (two years, $3.5 million) and Erik Haula (two years, $4.75 million), and defensemen Mike Reilly (three years, $9 million) and Derek Forbort (three years, $9 million), each got a new contract from the Bruins.
“Derek was a player we identified through our own scouting staff and analytics staff that would come in and complement our group,” Sweeney said. “He’s played extended minutes, he’s healthier, had a rebound year from not being healthy the previous season. [He’s a] primary penalty killer, which is also important.”
Sweeney said there is a possibility center David Krejci, an unrestricted free agent who has played his 15-season NHL career with the Bruins, could return.
“David and I have communicated pretty consistently over the last little while. Nothing has changed on that front,” Sweeney said. “He has his own reasons and he’s going to keep those private, as I am, in terms of what his timeline is. Not unlike Tuukka, we’ve left things completely open-ended about him possibly returning to play for us, so it’s not a definitive timeline. Obviously, David’s a unique player. He’s been a tremendous Bruin and a highly productive player throughout his entire career, and again, we hope that that will continue, but on that timeline of when he sees fit, not when we do.”
NHL.com staff writer Amalie Benjamin contributed to this report