It’s likely no one would have blamed Tuukka Rask if he called it a career after the 2020-21 NHL season.
The goalie underwent offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, something that had been bothering him all of last season. Plus, at age 34 and everything Rask had accomplished up to this point, he could have hung up the skates with an impressive résumé.
But he decided to come back, choosing to sign a one-year deal with the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. Rask has played his entire career in Black and Gold, and made it clear in the offseason he wanted to remain with the organization and not play anywhere else.
Rask on Wednesday spoke to the media for the first time since signing his new deal, and revealed the motivation behind returning to the Bruins.
“I think the biggest motivation is to play with the group I played with my whole career and to have another chance to win. That’s about it,” Rask said over Zoom. “When you do a surgery like that, for a goalie, it’s a pretty significant injury, it takes a lot of time to recover. When you try to come back you don’t know how it’s going to react and whatnot. So, I’m just trying to get back in the groove of things, play some solid hockey and go from there.”
Of course, Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are part of that motivation and the core group that Rask has played with his entering the league in the 2007-08 season. Rask acknowledged the window is closing, but adding him back into the fold certainly helps the Bruins at a chance for the Stanley Cup.
It’s unclear when Rask will make his first start for the Bruins since June 9. However, we do know he will back up Linus Ullmark when they host the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night at TD Garden.