Although the NHL season is currently on pause, the Bruins took care of some essential business on Friday afternoon. The Bruins agreed to a one-year extension with netminder Jaroslav Halak. The deal features a cap hit of $2.25 million.
Halak joined the Bruins before the 2018-2019 season and has been one of Don Sweeney’s best signings. In two seasons in Boston, Halak has gone 40-17-10 with eight shutouts. Through 71 games, he has a GAA of 2.36 and save percentage of .919. He has been a reliable backup for Tuukka Rask over the past few years as the Bruins have been one of hockey’s best teams.
Not a bad time to bring back Jaroslav Halak’s best save as a Bruin thus far pic.twitter.com/o4Ods0OaUm
— Evan Marinofsky (@emarinofsky) May 1, 2020
Before the sports world was put on pause, Halak was in the midst of another solid season. In 31 games this year, Halak had an 18-6-6 record with three shutouts. The former ninth-round pick faced 905 shots this season and stopped 802.
Additionally, Halak has ranked among the league’s best since 2018. Over the past two seasons, the veteran netminder has a save percentage of .845 in high-danger situations. That is the fourth-best in the league among goalies with at least 3,000 minutes of total ice. In that span, he has a goals saved above average of 23.25, which is the eighth-best in the league.
After two solid seasons in Boston, Halak was expected to be a popular name on the free agent market. Keeping him gives the Bruins’ younger goalies such as Dan Vladar, Kyle Keyser, and Jeremy Swayman more time to develop.
The Bruins have signed Goalie Jaroslav Halak to a 1-year, $2.25M extension through 2021.
Perfect deal for both Halak and the Bruins 🐻 pic.twitter.com/4OYO1pnKkQ
— Jordan Moore (@iJordanMoore) May 1, 2020
Additionally, Halak has taken a discount to remain in Boston another year. When Halak originally signed with Boston, his two-year deal had a $2.75 million cap hit. Regardless of how the rest of the 2019-2020 season plays out, the Bruins have now solved one of their biggest questions in free agency this summer.
Next offseason, however, the Bruins will have an interesting choice as both Rask and Halak will be free agents.