Friday, June 29, 2012

Bruins Sign Tuukka Rask to 1-Year Deal

The Boston Bruins made it official yesterday that Tuukka Rask will be the starting goaltender for the 2012-13 after signing a one-year, $3.5 million contract extension, as first reported by TSN.  Tuukka was set to be a restricted free agent on July 1.

The 25-year-old Finnish goaltender played 23 games with the Bruins last season, going 11-8-3 with a 2.05 goals-against average, a .929 save percentage and three shutouts.

The deal makes sense for both sides.  It will give the Bruins the opportunity to see if Rask really is the #1 goalie the club, and all the fans, hope he is, while giving Rask the chance to cash in on a more lucrative, longer-term contract if he makes good on the opportunity being handed to him.
There wasn't much of a question about who the starter was going to be for the Bruins next season once general manager Peter Chiarelli announced that Tim Thomas would not be playing with them in 2012-13 and would be taking the year off.  Thomas' decision has the potential to hurt the team financially, but the majority of people doesn't seem to worried having Tuukka ready to step right up.  Anton Khudobin will be backing up Rask, and with the team selecting Malcolm Subban at this year's draft, they're clearly taking the appropriate methods to build the depth up between the pipes.
According to, the Bruins have just over $69 million allotted for contracts for next year.  Which includes Marc Savard, whose $4 million cap hit could be placed on long-term injury reserve, and Tim Thomas, who would carry a $5 million cap hit if he is not traded.

The temporary salary cap for next year has been set at $70.2 million, though that will likely change once a new CBA is negotiated.  Teams can exceed the cap by 10 percent in the offseason.

Per the current CBA rules, Rask would still be a restricted free agent at the end of his one-year deal, but there’s no way of knowing how the free agency landscape could change with the new labor deal that starts next season. 

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