While the hockey world awaits the fate of the 2019-2020 season, the Bruins have been one of the league’s busiest teams.
Next season, however, they will face one of their toughest decisions as Tuukka Rask is set to become a free agent. In weeks prior, the idea of retirement had been floated around, but Rask silenced those rumors on a zoom call with the media on Monday afternoon.
When asked about his future Rask said, “I’ve never really thought about that: the age, the number, so far I still have that passion to keep playing. Maybe it’s 36, 37––maybe I’ll be the goalie that plays until he’s 45.”
Rask on how he's dealt with the NHL shutting things down:
"Luckily I have my drum set in the basement if I need to blow off some steam."
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) May 11, 2020
Before the season was put on pause, Rask was in the midst of another impressive run. In 41 games, the veteran goaltender had gone 26-8-6. Rask had faced 1,189 shots and made 1,104 saves.
He also had five shutouts, which were his highest total since the 2016-2017 season.
Additionally, Rask was again among the league’s best. In 2,402 minutes of play, Rask leads the league with a GAA of 2.12. The former first-round pick’s save percentage of .929 ranked second as did his five shutouts. Rask was on pace for one of the best years of his career as the Bruins led the Eastern Conference.
Although the season is on hold, Rask’s future has been a popular topic among Bruins fans. Next summer, the Bruins number one goalie will be a free agent after his eight-year deal expires. The Bruins do have some options, in Providence, however, Jaroslav Halak Rask’s backup will also be a free agent.
While Rask has been heavily criticized at times over the years, he has been a key part of the Bruins’ success over the last decade. Rask has 291 regular-season wins, which is the most in franchise history. During his tenure in Boston, he has been to three Stanley Cup Finals and won one Vezina trophy.
Additionally, the veteran is in impressive company among goalies who have logged 2,000 minutes. Rask’s save percentage of .929 ranks first, while his save percentage in high danger situation is second. Over the last decade, he has been one of the leagues best and stable presence in net. The case could be made that he was the favorite to win the second Vezina trophy of his career.
Rask’s play is a reflection of the fact that he is in the midst of one of the best stretches of his career. His play in high danger situations has improved, which at times took away from his play. While the future is uncertain, Rask has made it clear that his playing days are far from over.