Going back to last summer, it has been widely expected that Tuukka Rask would eventually rejoin the Bruins once he has fully recovered from hip surgery that he underwent in July. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday including NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin, team president Cam Neely indicated that while there have been talks between Rask and GM Don Sweeney, they haven’t been regarding a contract for this season yet.
That isn’t to say that there haven’t been any discussions – Rask has been using Boston’s team facilities to rehab while even serving as an emergency goalie for practice but there’s a difference between that and putting pen to paper on a contract. In the meantime, Neely indicated that the current COVID situation certainly isn’t helping as they want to see Rask face NHL-caliber shots in practice to get ramped up and back into playing shape. With the team being in the midst of an outbreak and their facilities closed, that’s hard to do and depending on how long this lasts, it could delay their plans to bring him back accordingly.
It’s not as if they absolutely have to get Rask back right away either. Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have combined for a .919 SV% and a 2.39 GAA, making the Bruins one of the stingiest defensive teams in the league. Adding Rask to that tandem is a luxury over a necessity.
As a result, Sweeney needs to preserve as much of his cap space as possible to fill other team needs closer to the deadline so whatever contract offer they make to Rask will come in a lot cheaper than the $7MM AAV he had on his last deal. Fortunately for them, Rask has indicated a willingness to sign for cheap, allowing them to preserve some flexibility. However, it appears Boston fans will have to wait a little while longer for the 14-year veteran to officially make his return.