( Photo Credit: Barry Chin / The Boston Globe via Getty Images )

By: Carter Hochman | Follow me on Twitter @Carterr33

You didn’t think we’d get through this season without mentioning Tuukka Rask’s name, did you? Well, neither did he. Today, Tuukka Rask was spotted getting reps in before the team took the ice for practice, and that leaves us with plenty of questions. Let’s do our best to answer them.

Now, we all know that Rask has publicly stated he doesn’t want to play anywhere outside of Boston, and I’m starting to believe him. In case anyone forgot, Rask is still on the mend from relatively major hip surgery and is still technically an unrestricted free agent.

Tuukka stated, “I feel the Bruins are my home, Boston is my home, and I’ve always wanted to play here, stay here. The money won’t be an issue.” Essentially, the 34-year-old Rask doesn’t care how much (or how little) the Bruins pay him; he just wants to finish out his career on his terms in the black and gold. “I have no reason to chase the money anymore,” said Rask in an interview on WEEI way back in August.

The Bruins also haven’t turned their back on their former Vezina-winning Stanley Cup-winning Hall of Fame (probably) veteran goaltender. Cam Neely even went on record stating, “the door is open… it really depends on where [Rask is] at mentally and physically.” At this rate, it seems more likely than not that Tuukka Rask will at one point suit up for the B’s this season.

But hold your horses, the Bruins just spent a whole lot of dough on that guy named Linus Ullmark, and we all know how the front office and the fans feel about that other guy Jeremy Swayman. So what happens if Rask signs for another year and Cassidy decides to play him? Who do you scratch? Do you send Ullmark or Swayman to Providence? Here’s my take, and take it with an extremely minute grain of salt: purely for financial and further development reasons, Swayman should be the one who’s scratched or sent down to get more reps.

Before anyone jumps all over me, Swayman has experienced his first couple iffy games this season, he’s still on his entry-level contract, which is a two-way contract which means he can be sent down to Providence without going through waivers, and a little development in the AHL never hurt anyone (I don’t think). Tack that on to the amount of money Boston spent on Ullmark along with his veteran NHL experience, and we may have a version of last year’s goaltending duo all over again (which ain’t a bad situation).

This season just got a whole lot more interesting. I’m excited to see how this all turns out.