Tuukka Rask is a man of his word.
And that’s exactly what happened.
Rask on Tuesday officially re-joined the Bruins officially following offseason hip surgery. He’s back on a one-year contract that carries a $1 million AAV, though he’ll make less than that in cash since the contract will be pro-rated.
At that figure, the move was a no-brainer for the Bruins. There’s basically zero risk involved, but the upside is through the roof. While the Bruins say they haven’t officially decided what they’ll do, the most likely situation is Jeremy Swayman goes down to Providence since he’s still waivers exempt.
If the absolute worst-case scenario plays out and Rask doesn’t bounce back, then the Bruins have an NHL-ready goalie waiting, and they can go back to leaning on the Linus Ullmark/Swayman tandem. But by all accounts Rask has looked good from a health standpoint, and one has to think he’ll return to a high level, even if it takes a few games to shake off the rust.
And make no mistake, this won’t mark the end of Swayman’s season at the NHL level. The Bruins’ schedule is a grind, and while Boston seems unlikely to carry three goalies on the active roster indefinitely, a situation exists where the Bruins could call Swayman up for spot starts while he still practices and plays regularly with Providence.
The Bruins are adding depth at a pivotal position, it’s a simple as that. Rask made sure that the Bruins could do it in a way that wouldn’t set them back financially, and now they are sitting pretty in net at a time that the team at large is showing major improvement.
Even without knowing how his play will be, this move from Rask very much belongs high up in his legacy. He is a goalie that in recent years has continued to play at an exceptionally high level. Had he tested the market, he could’ve gotten a fair amount of cash, even with the somewhat uncertain health situation, and he probably could have signed somewhere over the summer instead of waiting things out. That he didn’t shows a level of loyalty to a team that is seldom seen in sports nowadays.