The Bruins are fortunate enough to have talented goalies like Niklas Svedberg and Malcolm Subban in the system, but there is no doubt that Tuukka Rask is the Bruins goalie of the future and both Rask and the Bruins want it that way.
“That would be an ideal situation I think to play here forever. I hope we can make that happen” said Rask this past Wednesday at the team’s breakup day.
Rask is coming off his second full season as the Bruins starting goalie—2010 being the other—where he posted a 19-10-5 record, 2.00 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. Rask was even better in the playoffs as he helped carry the Bruins within two wins of another Stanley Cup with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage during the postseason.
Rask is set to become a restricted free agent when free agency begins on July 5, but General Manager Peter Chiarelli hopes to get a deal done with Rask sooner rather than later.
“You’d like to get everything done quickly. I don’t know if I’ll have that luxury, but certainly I’ll try just so you have your certainty on your team and cap and all that” said Chiarelli.
“He’s obviously had a terrific playoff and we’d like to get him done as soon as we can.” Peter Chiarelli
Getting a deal done quickly for Rask is important for the Bruins in many ways. Signing Rask to a new deal prior to July 5 avoids any chance of Rask signing an offer sheet from another team, hello Philadelphia.
A quick deal with Rask also allows Chiarelli and company to shift focus to the teams’ other free agents which includes the likes of Nathan Horton, Anton Khudobin, Kaspars Daugavins and Wade Redden. The Bruins have already announced that Jaromir Jagr and Andrew Ference won’t be back next season. The Bruins are tight to the cap in 2013-14 so the Bruins must make sure they pay Rask exactly what he deserves.
The biggest question surrounding Rask entering the season was whether or not he could handle a full season, plus playoffs, as everyone wanted to point to the Bruins collapse in 2010, the last time Rask was the teams’ starting goalie. Although this year’s season was cut short due to the NHL lockout, Rask proved to everyone he can handle whatever it is that is thrown his way.
“I don’t think I have to answer those questions anymore. I played good” said Rask.
“Proved everyone again that I was capable of doing it. I mean you look at the numbers. They’re good. If I just analyze my game and by how I felt throughout the year I thought it was a great year.”
Assuming Rask is signed to a lengthy deal,—we all know what happens when you assume—he will remain as one of the Bruins’ young core members that the Black and Gold have locked up for years to come.
“I think the core is there” added Rask. “I think we have done a good job of bringing the younger guys in. They fit in really good. I think we just have to keep doing that and keep our focus on the right things and not letting it slip. So yes I think we have a chance to bring the Cup back soon and keep having success.”
If Tuukka can repeat his individual success from this past season there’s no doubt the Bruins will once again have a chance at bringing the Cup back to Boston.
Check out what Rask had to say when he met with the media during breakup day.