By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Goaltender Tuukka Rask has spent his entire 13-year NHL career with the Boston Bruins. And if the 33-year-old Rask, who is entering the final year of his current contract, has his say, that’s how it’ll stay.
“I’ve said before: I have no intentions of playing anywhere else but the Bruins,” Rask said. “If I’m good enough to play, one, two, three more years, so be it. If not, so be it. That’s where my head’s at.”
It’s a perfectly Rask approach to a contract year. Keep in mind that the last time Rask found himself in a contract year, he led the Bruins to the 2013 Stanley Cup Final and then cashed in with an eight-year, $56 million deal.
But part of Rask’s approach comes back down to a hockey world he called “upside down.” With a flat cap and with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic simply wrecking profits, teams are wary of spending anything other than short money. There’s also a bit of uncertainty when it comes to the Bruins as a whole. The team has talked about their ‘brutally honest’ future, and you saw a bit of that with their approach to Zdeno Chara this offseason.
There was also talk that Bruins general manager Don Sweeney looked at the possibility of trading Rask this past offseason. Rask, for what it’s worth, seemed pretty comfortable with his situation this past offseason, and offered a simple “nope” when asked if he ever had doubts that he’d be back with the Bruins in 2021.
Rask, at the very least, understands the situation Sweeney and the Bruins find themselves in entering the year.
“I’m sure Sweens has a lot on his plate right now [and] my contract situation is probably not on the top of his list at the moment,” Rask acknowledged. “I’m comfortable with where we are right now. I just wanna go out there, start the season off right, and kind of get in a good groove and play good hockey personally and as a team.
“If the contract talks happen during the season, then so be it. If they don’t, then we’ll just wait it out and see what happens. But my main focus right now is to get the season started off right and worry about the future after that. I guess that’s the best answer I can give you right now.”
Rask, who spent the entire offseason training in Boston, is coming off a 2019-20 that featured a 26-8-6 record, .929 save percentage, league-best 2.12 goals against average, and a second-place finish in the voting for the Vezina Trophy.