Bruins

Tuukka Rask returned to Bruins practice despite still being a free agent

Rask was Boston's EBUG for the day.

Tuukka Rask
Tuukka Rask during the Bruins' playoff series against the Islanders in June, 2021. AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

There was a new but very familiar face at Bruins practice on Monday.

Tuukka Rask, who is technically a free agent after 14 years with the Bruins, stayed on the ice after a personal workout to participate in the team’s actual practice for the first time since last season.

This doesn’t mean that Rask, 34, is officially back in the fold for Boston. With fellow goaltender Linus Ullmark out with a non-COVID illness, Rask joined the practice as the team’s emergency backup goaltender (EBUG), as Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic noted.

Rask said in an August interview that he wanted to still play, and wanted to remain in Boston. He went unsigned by the Bruins after having offseason hip surgery that he continues to rehab from.

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“The Bruins are my home, and Boston is my home,” he told WEEI on Aug. 25, “and I’ve always wanted to play here, wanted to stay here, so the money won’t be an issue.”

As for how the veteran goalie looked, Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic noted that Rask had a good practice.

“He denied Derek Forbort with a no-stick diving stop during a small-area two-on-two drill Monday,” wrote Shinzawa. “How much more he requires to get his game up to the NHL speed is unknown. But Rask did not look out of place in Monday’s practice.”

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