Tuukka Rask said he wanted to be a Bruin for life, and he’s gotten his chance. The Bruins reported today that Tuukka Rask has been signed to an 8 year contract worth $56 Million.
Bruins have signed goaltender Tuukka Rask to an eight-year contract through the 2020-21 season. Read release: http://t.co/JSRX3CBDnX ^BB
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 10, 2013
Tuukka Rask was signed last year to a 1 year contract that ran him through the 2012-13 season so he had a proper shot at being the starting goaltender in Boston. Tuukka Rask definitely proved himself and has now with the signing of his contract has officially landed the starting goalie role with the team. In his first season as starting goalie Tuukka Rask would only see 36 of the 48 games of the season, but in those games he went (19-10-5) posting a 2.00 GAA and a .929 SV%. The Bruins and Rask finished 4th in the Eastern Conference and Rask helped lead the Bruins through an incredibly deep playoff run ending with the 6 games to the Blackhawks. Although the Bruins did not walk away with Lord Stanley over their heads, Rask in his first year as a starting goaltender and his second chance at the playoffs saw him still finish with a 1.88 GAA and a .940 SV% with 3 shutouts in 22 games.
Rask will now have a full 82 game season for him to really prove himself in the long stretches. Rask went above and beyond in the playoffs this year and that experience in the Finals will show through for Rask next year. Even with the loss of the Cup it shouldn’t affect the play of Rask, after all he was in the net during the 2009-10 playoffs when the Philadelphia Flyers came back from 0-3 down and won Game 7. Rask recovered well, going 11-14 in the 2010-11 season and then 11-8 in the 2011-12 season before being injured. Rask can rebound well from those kinds of things and he proved it this year, leading the Bruins back to the Stanley Cup Final.
But an 8 year , $56 mil contract seems big, but considering the year he had it’s obvious the Bruins want him to be their elite goalie and he’s shown that he can handle it. Another nice thing is that the Bruins finally figured out how to give a goaltender money when he does well. Shining the light back in time a little bit here, after the 1998-99 season, Bruins started Bryon DaFoe was on top of the world. A 1.99 GAA, .926 SV%, 10 shutouts (something not even something St. Patrick Roy could do) and he was voted a second team-all star in the 1999 All-Star game and finished 2nd in Vezina trophy voting. It’s obvious that when his contract was up he would want big money, as he should have, he was an all-star and damn near won the Vezina. But the Bruins didn’t see it that way, they held him out for about 1/2 the 1999-2000 season and then he ended up getting injured when he came back, thus completely ruining his career and Ray Bourque’s chances at winning a cup in Boston. The hold out for Byron ended when he was signed a 4 year contract worth 9 million dollars over 3 seasons, which is really really low for an almost Vezina winning All-star goalie. Yet the boggling part is, Sinden and the Bruins had a hard time wrapping up their all-star goalie but signing Martin Lapointe to a 20 million dollar contract was fine. It’s very nice to see that time’s have changed with the Bruins and they are finally comfortable with giving the good players what they want and the days of letting your 29+ goal scorers (Dmitri Khristich) or all-star goalies walk are far behind us.