Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask spoke with reporters yesterday, including Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty, for the first time since leaving the bubble to tend to a family emergency. During the discussion, he was asked about the potential of playing elsewhere as the 33-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. While there is no extension in place, Rask didn’t mince words about his preference:
I have no intentions of playing anywhere else except for with the Bruins. If I’m good enough to play one, two or three more years then so be it and if not then so be it. That’s where my head is at.
Rask has been a fixture in Boston’s lineup since the 2009-10 season and has suited up in 536 NHL games, all for the Bruins who acquired him from Toronto back in 2006. His playing time has been more limited recently though so he should be expecting to take a dip from his current $7MM AAV in order to stick around.
Elsewhere in the East Division:
- Penguins winger Kasperi Kapanen is expected to have his work visa in hand by Friday, notes Mike DeFabo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. That’s an important hurdle to clear as he looks to join his new team after being dealt during the postseason but it still seems quite unlikely at this point that he’ll be available on opening night. Kapanen will still have to go through a mandatory quarantine period of seven days so unless there is some sort of exception granted which seems extremely unlikely at this point, he will have to miss the first two games of the year against Philadelphia.
- The Islanders are trying to trade winger Leo Komarov, reports David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period (Twitter link). GM Lou Lamoriello is trying to free up some extra cap room with Mathew Barzal still needing a new deal and with Komarov underachieving since joining them, he’s a logical player to try to move. Of course, in this cap environment, an underachieving fourth-liner with two years left on his contract at $3MM is going to be a tough sell and will likely require some sort of incentive to get another team to take the 33-year-old on. Komarov had just four goals and ten assists in 48 games last season.