Tuukka Rask revealed Friday he’ll undergo hip surgery, which is expected to sideline the Boston Bruins goaltender for five or six months and therefore cause him to miss the start of next season.
“Like I said before, I’m not going to play for anyone else than the Bruins,” Rask said Friday during a video conference. “This is our home. We have three kids, the kids enjoy it here, they have friends in school, we have friends. At this point in my life and career, I don’t see any reason to go anywhere else, especially with the health I’m looking at now, my recovery time of five or six months. Hopefully it works out that I recover well, and we can talk about contracts when the time’s right for that.”
Rask has spent his entire 14-year NHL career with Boston after coming over from the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2006 in a trade. It’s fair to assume more hockey is behind him than in front of him, but Rask is taking a wait-and-see approach with how much longer he’ll keep playing. Ultimately, circumstances — health and opportunity — could make the decision.
“Who knows. I think first and foremost, I’m trying to get this hip fixed and start the recovery, and then we’ll see how I feel after,” said Rask, who will go under the knife within the next month. “You never know how it goes. You never know what they’ll find when they open the hip. Maybe it’s worse than expected. I don’t know. So it’s tough to give you an answer now because if everything goes well, I start feeling great and I come back and play and feel awesome, then who knows how long I’m going to play. But it could also go the other way: Maybe I don’t recover that well and maybe I just can’t play anymore. Who knows.”
Rask made it clear he’s open to serving as a mentor for Boston’s younger goalies, including Jeremy Swayman, who’s coming off a strong rookie season for the Bruins. As such, it’ll be interesting to see what Boston’s situation between the pipes looks like when the 2021-22 NHL campaign rolls around.
And if the Bruins don’t want to re-sign Rask? Well, he’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it.
“We’ll see when we get there,” Rask said. “Maybe I can go play in Finland. I’m part-owner of a team in Finland, they’re opening a new rink. Who knows. Maybe I can go play in Czech Republic again, I don’t know.”
There’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding Rask’s future in wake of the Bruins being eliminated by the New York Islanders in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. But one thing remains abundantly clear: He hopes and plans to wear the Spoked B for as long as he remains in the NHL.