An Example of Arbitration in Sports: Boston Bruins – Jeremy Swayman

Aug 3, 2021


In the realm of sports, arbitration has become an increasingly common process for resolving disputes between players and teams. The case involving the Boston Bruins and Jeremy Swayman provides a captivating example of how arbitration can affect the outcomes and dynamics of professional sports contracts. This article explores the intricacies of this arbitration case and sheds light on the implications it has for both the Boston Bruins organization and the promising goaltender Jeremy Swayman.

The Background Story

The Boston Bruins, a storied franchise in the National Hockey League (NHL), drafted Jeremy Swayman, a highly-touted goaltender, in the third round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Swayman's exceptional skills and potential quickly caught the attention of the Bruins' management, and he soon became a vital part of the team's future plans.

However, as Swayman's meteoric rise continued, the question of his contractual obligations and compensation began to arise. With his impressive performances and potential, Swayman's market value increased substantially, creating a situation where the Bruins needed to negotiate a new contract to retain his services.

The Arbitration Process

Arbitration in sports serves as a mechanism for resolving contract disputes between players and teams when both parties cannot reach a mutually beneficial agreement. It involves an impartial arbitrator who listens to arguments from both sides and ultimately makes a binding decision regarding the terms of the contract.

In the case of the Boston Bruins and Jeremy Swayman, the arbitration process commenced when negotiations between the player's representatives and the team's management reached an impasse. To navigate through the arbitration process, both parties submitted their proposals, taking into account Swayman's performance statistics, comparable player contracts, and other relevant factors.

The Key Factors

In arbitration cases in professional sports, several key factors come into play when determining a fair contract. These factors can include a player's performance metrics, their potential, age, experience, comparables, and market conditions. In the case of Jeremy Swayman, his exceptional performance as a relatively young goaltender and the market demand for talented goaltenders greatly influenced the arbitration process.

During arbitration, the Bruins presented their case based on the team's perspective, emphasizing the financial constraints and the need for salary cap management. On the other hand, Swayman's representatives argued for a salary that reflected his on-ice performance, comparables, and his potential to become one of the league's elite goaltenders.

The Arbitration Decision

After careful consideration of the arguments presented by both sides, the arbitrator made a binding decision regarding Jeremy Swayman's contract with the Boston Bruins. The decision took into account various factors, including performance, age, market conditions, and comparables. The final ruling aimed to provide a fair outcome for both parties.

The specific details of the arbitration decision in the Boston Bruins and Jeremy Swayman case are not disclosed due to confidentiality agreements between the player, the team, and the league. However, it can be inferred that the decision would have factored in Swayman's exceptional potential and current market conditions while also considering the Bruins' financial constraints and long-term team-building strategy.

Implications for the Boston Bruins

The arbitration process can have significant implications for sports teams, and the Boston Bruins are no exception. The outcome of the arbitration decision impacts the team's salary cap management and future roster decisions. If the contract awarded to Jeremy Swayman through arbitration is significantly higher than the Bruins' initial offer, it could potentially limit the team's financial flexibility in pursuing other players or force them to make difficult roster decisions to accommodate the new contract.

Implications for Jeremy Swayman

For Jeremy Swayman, the arbitration process influences his career trajectory and financial security. A favorable arbitration ruling could provide him with a lucrative contract that recognizes his performance and potential, securing his future with the Boston Bruins. On the other hand, a less favorable outcome might require him to explore other opportunities in the NHL or negotiate a new contract with the Bruins under different terms.


Arbitration in sports, as exemplified by the case involving the Boston Bruins and Jeremy Swayman, offers a unique insight into the complexities and impact of contract negotiations within professional sports. The outcome of the arbitration decision can greatly shape the future of both the player and the team, highlighting the importance of understanding the intricacies of the arbitration process in the world of sports.