The Boston Bruins are comfortable with uncertainty over Tuukka Rask.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy revealed Tuesday during his appearance on the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon a potential timeline for talks with the free-agent goaltender about a return to Boston. Rask underwent hip surgery last month and is expected to be sidelined until early next year. Although the Bruins will begin the season with Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman as their top goalies, they also will remain in communication with Rask, their longtime starter, as the 2021-22 NHL season unfolds.
“That’ll be Donny’s (Don Sweeney) job,” Cassidy said when asked about the process of return talks. “Our GM will keep in touch with his (Rask’s) representatives to see when and how far along he is with his rehab, and then we’ll make a decision. Obviously, we have to plan on Ullmark and Swayman being our guys. And then if Tuukka gets in the mix, that’ll be great.
“It’ll be a good problem to have, but right now we’re going forward with those two guys. So there will be communication, I imagine, right up until probably when he’s ready to play. Then let’s see ‘where are we at with our goaltending? Where is he at with his desire to play?’ And you join the two together and see where there’s a fit.”
Cassidy’s comments on Rask’s potential return mirror those Sweeney made last month. The sides are taking a wait-and-see approach, and regular check-ins are bound to occur in the coming weeks and months. As Rask closes in on fitness to play, the talks likely will intensify. The same probably goes for the public’s focus on Swayman and Ullmark.
You can watch Cassidy’s full interview in the video above.