Tuukka Rask Expects to Return to the Bruins for the 2021-2022 Season

(Photo Credit: Derek Leung / Getty Images)

By: Kevin O’Keefe | Follow me on Twitter @Kevin_OKeefe89

The door Bruins general manager Don Sweeney left ajar for goaltender Tuukka Rask, may have more of a clear answer after Rask called into the Jimmy Fund Radiothon hosted by WEEI and NESN. While speaking on the Greg Hill Show, Rask told the listeners exactly what his plan is moving forward. 

“We had a conversation with Sweens (Don Sweeney), and I said I’d be a cheap goalie. I’m not looking for a $7 million contract anymore, I’m at the end of my career. I’d just like to help the team out. I feel like I’m a veteran goalie and there’s some young guys coming in, so whatever I can do to help the guys out, I would do it and end my career as a Bruin.” Rask said.

Rask also mentioned his unwavering devotion to his team; “I played with one team when I was in Finland, I have been so lucky to be part of only one team in the NHL, for me, it’s about that pride of playing for one team and one team only. I have no reason to chase the money anymore and go somewhere else. It’s going to be one of those things where the Bruins are my home, Boston is my home. I’ve always wanted to play here, wanted to stay here. So, the money won’t be an issue.”

Rask, a guy who seems to be the scapegoat for many Bruins fans, still wants to be a contributing factor to this team’s chances of winning another cup with the core he has been a part of his entire 14-year NHL career. Rask believes after his rehab; he could be playing for the Bruins as early as End of December or early January. “I’d be ready to go probably around Christmas time or January, so hopefully I can start skating here in about a month and a half or so and then kind of progress from there and be ready to go in January,” Rask said.

How could this affect the Bruins plans moving forward in the crease? There is still not guarantee that Rask will be able to play for the team since he hasn’t started his rehabilitation process to truly see if he will be healthy enough. Don Sweeney must continue as if his tandem will be Linus Ullmark (who he inked a deal with during free agency) and rookie Jeremy Swayman. Being able to insert a veteran goalie of Rask’s caliber into the mix would be extremely beneficial, but the uncertainty of his health is still a factor that needs to be weighed. 

Even if Rask is healthy enough to play, the Bruins only have around $1.08 million in cap space according to cap-friendly; so, when Rask says he would be a cheap goalie, he’s going to have to mean it. With all the speculation, it’s hard not to get excited with the idea of having a three capable goaltenders that could play at a high level in the crease for under $7 million against your cap. 

If Rask does return, who would be taking a backseat? It would be assumed that Swayman would be returned to providence for more seasoning, while Ullmark and Rask maintained the crease for Boston. If Swayman and Ullmark are having a Jennings trophy year though, it would be an extremely tough decision for the team if this situation came true. There’s no denying the loyalty Bruins management has to Rask and only time will tell if that loyalty is indeed still a priority for this team moving forward.

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