Tuukka Rask has signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal to stay with the Boston Bruins, per Bob McKenzie.
This pretty much cements his position as the Bruins’ number one goalie for next season in the absence of Tim Thomas.
Admittedly, the deal seems rather short-term and maybe a little less than he could garner, but the fact is that the deal may be for just one year simply because the Bruins are strapped for cash. They top capgeek.com’s list for payroll, topping out at about $70 million total with about $4 million in bonuses. With Rask’s deal included, they now have just $277,000 left in cap space under the temporary $70.2 million salary cap that has been put in place until the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement are created. That’s not a lot of breathing room and may have led to this shorter-term deal.
Next year, the team may be able to shore up more money and make a longer-term commitment to Rask, who will become a restricted free agent again next year. However, they’ll also have to think about new deals with Rask, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand, Jordan Caron, Andrew Ference, Anton Khudobin and–if necessary–Thomas, because all are scheduled to become free agents, though only Horton, Ference, Khudobin and Thomas will be unrestricted.
So consider this a short-term fix and a commitment to keeping Rask in the Bruins fold. The way he performs next season, after all, could earn him a bigger paycheck. He didn’t get as much of a chance to perform as was originally planned last season, mostly due to the late-season injury that sidelined him and necessitated bringing in Marty Turco. But now, with the starting job basically his for the taking, the Bruins show that, even in a small way for now, they want him to stay.