Bruins

‘It was a tough decision’: Tuukka Rask opens up about decision to leave NHL’s bubble

Rask also shared his desire to stay with the Bruins as his contract is set to expire.

Barry Chin/Globe Staff
Tuukka Rask said his daughter had a medical emergency that required him to be at home during the playoffs. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Tuukka Rask’s decision to leave the NHL’s bubble was surprising at the time. But for Rask, the decision was an easy one.

Speaking to the media for the first time since he left the NHL’s bubble in August, Rask revealed that his daughter had a medical emergency that required her to be rushed to the hospital by an ambulance.

“Everything happened so quickly…,” Rask said. “I got a phone call the night before (Game 3 against the Hurricanes) that our daughter wasn’t doing so well. They had to call an ambulance. At that point, my mind is spinning. I’m like ‘I need to get out of here.’ So then, the next morning I informed (Bruins president) Cam (Neely) and we had a brief talk and I just left.”

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Rask remarked that it was tough to go home during the first round of the playoffs. However, he said knew he made the right decision to be with his family considering the circumstances.

“It was a tough decision to leave, but then again, it wasn’t,” Rask said. “I knew it was more important for me to be home at the time. So, that was easy to live with. On the other hand, you’re home, knowing you could be there, you should be there playing hockey. So, it’s tough to watch the games. Your brain is kind of spinning at that point, knowing you’re at the right place at home but then again you should be there stopping pucks. So, it was tough for a few weeks.”

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Coming back to the team for the new season isn’t a problem, according to Rask. He said that his teammates at the time of his decision to leave “gave their support and they knew what was going on.”

“No issue coming in here,” Rask said. “We’ve been in touch throughout the summer and had discussions with whatever in life with teammates. There’s no issues coming back.”

With last season behind him and the Bruins, Rask says he is focusing on the season ahead, and only the season ahead. Rask, who’s been the Bruins’ starting goalie for the last eight seasons, will be a free agent after this season. Despite his contract expiring, Rask says he isn’t thinking about it.

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“Everything’s upside down with the hockey world,” Rask said. “I’m sure (general manager Don Sweeney) has a lot on his plate … I’m comfortable with where we are now.

“If the contract talks happen during the season, so be it. … My main focus is to get the season started off right.”

When asked if his future in Boston was uncertain, Rask simply stated “Nope.”

“I have no intention of playing anywhere else but the Bruins,” Rask said.

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