It was never a matter of “if” a deal was going to get done, but “when” was the deal going to be made official.
On Thursday afternoon, the Boston Bruins announced that they had re-signed goaltender Tuukka Rask to a new contract. The deal is only for one year at $3.5million. Rask was scheduled to be a restricted free agent on July 1st.
The news broke that Rask was going to be the Bruins’ number one netminder once Tim Thomas announced that he was going to be taking the year off. Therefore, the reigns were handed over to the 25-year-old Finland native for the 2012-13 season. Thomas also made the decision to waive his no-trade clause, making the switch to Rask that much easier.
Rask was making $1.5 million per year on his previous deal, making his new contract seem lucrative. However, the length of the contact speaks volumes. Bruins management is under the assumption that Rask needs to prove himself under the one-year deal. If he is able to do so in this upcoming season, then he will get the contract that coincides with a number one goaltender.
It is not that the Bruins do not have faith in Rask. They have had nothing but positive words in regards to the new face of the franchise. They are just a little concerned if Rask’s health will hold up for him once October rolls around. During his injury-plagued 2011-12 season, he posted a 2.05 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
Rask had won the starting job from Thomas at the beginning of the 2009-10 season, so this position will be very familiar to him. This time around, he will not have the pressure of someone breathing down his neck waiting to take his spot if he has a bad outing.
The time for Rask to be the goaltender of the Bruins is upon us. With just a few days away from free agency and rookie camps opening this weekend, let’s see what kind of team will be on the ice in front of Rask this upcoming season.