All Bruins Nation members can breathe a sigh of relief and officially set your watches to ‘Tuukka Time’. Yesterday, Bruins President Cam Neely happily informed the press that the Finnish goaltender would be in the net for Boston for the forseeable future. The Bruins organization and Tuukka Rask came to terms on an eight year contract worth fifty-six million dollars. That sort of contract marks Rask out as one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL (and Tuukka certainly is!)
Rask’s NHL career consists of one hundred and thirty eight games. All of them have been in a Bruins uniform. To date, Rask has compiled a 66-45-16 record with 16 shutouts, a .927 save percentage and a 2.15 goals against average. His postseason record is even better. In a total of thirty five playoff games for the Bruins, Tuukka has compiled a 21-14 record, with improved 2.15 GAA and a .930 save percentage with three shutouts.
The Bruins had some rough games last season. There were defensive breakdowns and inconsistent offense that led to a lot of scoring opportunities in Boston. Many of the players on the team have thanked Tuukka in the post game interviews for keeping Boston ahead or in the game for the Bruins to comeback and earn points for the club.
My only concern in all this is how far is Chiarelli and the Bruins front office looking ahead. I can already see the 2014-2015 cap looming, and the seven million dollar cap hit will be hurting the Bruins severely down the road. To compensate for our losses we had to let several members of the team go, or watch them leave under free agency. We had to let Nathan Horton (not a bad call, since Columbus won’t see much of him early, due to shoulder surgery that could keep him out of action for as much as six months.) and Andrew Ference go. (Ference trade hurts more since he was one of those alternate captains that was as big a motivator off the ice as he was on.)
Factoring in our new acquisitions like Jarome Iginla, we’re going to be at least a million dollars over, giving us no choice(although it’s a rather easy choice) but to place Marc Savard on long-term injured reserve. We have yet to figure in what kind of deal we can give to our biggest star on the team, Patrice Bergeron. His contract will be up at the end of the next season, and the Bruins will need to make another series of ugly choices in order to keep him in the fold.