With yet another round of meetings between the NHL and NHLPA producing nothing but anger and inaction just before Thanksgiving, it seems like this NHL lockout shows no signs of stopping. But some players who have been playing over in Europe are starting to do something interesting: they’re coming back to North America.
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is the latest player with plans to come back across the Atlantic, according to Czech sports reporter Roman Jedlicka:
#Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask will play the last game for Pilsen in Czech league on Fri. Then he comes backs to Boston to wait for NHL start.
— Roman Jedlicka (@jedli) November 21, 2012
Rask has been busy recently in the Czech Republic with HC Plzen. With him in the lineup, Plzen has rocketed to first place in the Tipsport Extraleague. He’s played 15 games compared to the five played by Adam Svoboda and the four under Marek Mazanec‘s belt. He’s racked up a .925 save percentage and a 2.01 goals-against average according to Euro Hockey, including one shutout. He also recently represented Finland in the Karjala Cup alongside Pekka Rinne.
He also hurt his groin a while ago and left the game early, though he was able to rest and play again very soon after that and rested mostly as a precaution, considering his struggles with groin injuries back at the end of the 2011-12 season.
Most NHL goalies are having trouble finding work during the lockout, but Rask was lucky to get in with HC Plzen. Now he is coming home. Does he know something about the direction of negotiations? Considering that things are looking kind of bleak as American NHL fans prepare for Thanksgiving, it would be nice if his return was the harbinger of good news.
Interestingly, in an ideal world, Rask would be preparing to possibly see the national spotlight on Black Friday again during the Thanksgiving Showdown. Last year, he got the nod over Tim Thomas for the nationally-televised game against Detroit and he would most likely be taking the pipes for the meeting with New York this year as the starting goalie.