Back on June 26 when Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli met with the media during the team’s breakup day, Chiarelli admitted that he wanted to get a deal done with Tuukka 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.
Well quickly came exactly two weeks later and boy did Chiarelli and the Bruins put their money where their mouth is.
On Wednesday the Bruins made official what we have been hearing over the last two days and that was an eight-year, $56Million dollar contract that will keep Rask in Boston through the 2020-21 season.
“That would be an ideal situation I think to play here forever. I hope we can make that happen” said Rask at the team’s breakup day. Well Tuukka you certainly got your wish.
Rask’s cap hit comes in at $7Million per season and makes Rask—along with country mate Pekka Rinne—the leagues’ highest paid goalie.
Last offseason Rask took a bit of a gamble by only signing a one-year $3.5Million contract as Rask wanted to prove his worth to the Bruins, and proving his worth is exactly what he did this past season.
Rask finished the season at 19-10-5 with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage, but it was his performance in the postseason that helped earn Rask such a big contract.
In 22 games where Rask led the Bruins to within two wins of a Stanley Cup, Rask posted a stellar 1.88 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage. If the Bruins did happen to win Lord Stanley’s Cup, Rask most likely would have won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Playoffs Most Valuable Player.
The 26-year old Rask has appeared in 138 regular season games with the Bruins posting a 66-45-0-16 record with 16 shutouts. Rask has a career 2.15 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
One can knock the Bruins for giving such a big deal to a guy who was a Restricted Free Agent and has never started more than 39 games in a single season, especially with the salary cap dropping next season, but if Rask was to hit the open market at some point over the next few seasons he very well could have gotten more money from another team.
According to capgeek.com the Bruins are now $1,361,310.00 over the NHL’s salary cap. Per the new CBA, teams are permitted to be over the salary cap in the off-season.
The Bruins will have to either make a trade or place Marc Savard on Long Term Injured Reserve in order to fall under the $64.3 Million salary cap before the season starts.
Clearly the Bruins have a ton of faith in Rask and they absolutely should. The Bruins hope that this is not one of those situations where a guy gets his money and performs poorly the following season; much like Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley did this past season.
Only time will tell.
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