Cross off one option from the list of potentially available goaltenders. Vezina Trophy runner-up Tuukka Rask isn’t going anywhere. Although Rask opting out of the 2020 postseason raised some questions about his future in Boston, especially with just one year remaining on his current contract, the Bruins reiterated that they expected the elite goaltender to be back with the team next season. Rask himself has now taken control of the narrative, telling Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald that he does not want to play for any team but the Bruins. This would seemingly back up recent rumors that Rask had stated to the Bruins that he would retire if traded. It seems unlikely that the Bruins were pushing too hard to trade Rask anyhow, given that he was statistically the best starting goalie in the NHL this season and the team would struggle to replace him. It’s doubtful that the team would be able to get fair value in any deal for Rask as well. Rask will be back in Boston this year, but beyond 2020-21 remains a mystery.
- One goalie who will be available is Cam Talbot. Despite an impressive comeback season with the Calgary Flames, the two sides have been unable to agree on terms for an extension. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that talks have broken off for now with the salary gap too far apart. Talbot will test the market and may very well end up elsewhere. Calgary is still in need of a goaltender and could circle back to Talbot if they miss out on bigger free agent or trade targets.
- An available name getting some surprise attention is Scott Darling. Once one of the top backups in the NHL, Darling’s stint as a starter with the Carolina Hurricanes was an unmitigated disaster and led to a buyout last season and a complete lack of NHL interest. Darling went overseas and joined Austria’s HC Innsbruck of the EBEL. Although his numbers were not all that impressive, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that there are teams who might be willing to give Darling a second chance. Given the increased importance of goaltending depth in what is expected to be a condensed 2020-21 schedule, an experienced No. 3 like Darling could be valuable.