Goalie Tuukka Rask is back in Boston and, after paying a visit to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic and hanging out with the young patients there, he stuck around for his first time talking to the press since he signed his one-year contract.
A lot has happened since then, of course, so there was a lot of ground for Rask to cover.
Rask explained the reason for the length of his contract:
A lot of people, I guess, were a little surprised about the contract, but you know what I really I can tell the team…that I want a long contract, because I’m at the age that I would have had to gone to arbitration and stuff like that. So we just figured that it’s best for both of us and then if I have a good year then maybe sign up a longer deal and if I [stink] then kick me off basically…It wasn’t tough for us, we just had to sit down and talk about a few things and then at the end of the day it didn’t take much time at all.
Of course, the fact that the Bruins didn’t have much money to work with this offseason may have also been a factor in the length of the deal.
Rask also talked about the reason why he has found himself preparing to take on the role of starting goalie–the decision by Tim Thomas to take a year off from hockey. He said that he was both surprised and not surprised by the choice. If that sounds convoluted, he explained that he wasn’t expecting that decision to happen, but that he understood the reasoning for it. He did add that he was upset about it because the two of them were good friends.
But now that he has the chance to prove himself as the starter, he’s ready for the challenge.
“I’ve been waiting for a few years now it’s going be interesting to see how I handle it and it’s going be a challenge but I’m always up for a challenge and you just gotta make the most of it and have fun,” he said.
He knows that if he falters, there are definitely other goalies waiting in the wings, but that doesn’t bother him too much.
“I mean I’ve never really [stunk],” he said, smiling. “So hopefully I don’t [stink] this year either.”
(Anyone else get the feeling he said a word similar to stunk that also begins with s, but is sometimes considered inappropriate for a family publication?)
From the sound of it, he is certainly looking forward to proving to the fans that he will not su–I mean stink.