General manager Don Sweeney, busy signing veteran free agents over the weekend to fill his 2023-24 Bruins roster, learned on Wednesday that Jeremy Swayman and Trent Frederic filed for salary arbitration.
Defenseman Ian Mitchell, recently acquired from the Blackhawks in the Taylor Hall deal, also filed.
All three can continue to negotiate, and likely will in the days leading up to arbitration hearings that commence on July 20 and must be wrapped up by Aug. 4.
“We filed for arbitration and will be negotiating still,” noted Allain Roy, Frederic’s agent, via e-mail.
Lewis Gross, Swayman’s agent, did not return an e-mail seeking comment.
The players’ union noted in a press release just after 5 p.m. that 22 players across the league elected arbitration. Clubs have until 5 p.m. Thursday to elect if they want to enter the process for any eligible players yet to file.
The 6-foot-3-inch Frederic, 25, has signed two prior deals with the Bruins, including his entry-level contract out of the University of Wisconsin. The forward made $1.15 million last season and established career highs in goals (17) and assists (14).
Swayman, 24, partnered with Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark in net and recorded a career-best 24 wins (one more than the prior season).
Swayman is negotiating his second deal with the Bruins, following the expiration of the entry-level contract signed out of the University of Maine. He earned $1.05 million in 2022-23.
Mitchell, a right-shot defenseman who played a season under Bruins coach Jim Montgomery at the University of Denver, has played only 82 NHL games, including 35 last season. He has termed out of his entry-level deal that carried a $925,000 cap hit.
Sweeney, who signed an array of low-budget veteran free agents over the weekend, including ex-Bruin Milan Lucic, as of Wednesday night stood with a payroll some $6.2 million below the league’s new $83.5 million salary cap.
Frederic and Swayman should take a substantial bite out of that $6.2 million.
The Bruins have yet to announce if their two elite unrestricted free agents, centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, will return for the upcoming season. If one or both decide to come back, their pay could force Sweeney to find new homes for players currently signed and projected to be on the opening night roster on Oct. 11.
Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.