Last week saw the return of free agent goalie Tuukka Rask to the ice at Warrior Arena prior to Bruins practice. The 34 year old Finn is recovering from hip surgery to repair a torn labrum that occurred sometime in the 2019-20 season and currently is skating without the bulk of his equipment and isn’t taking shots in net. Rask is hoping for a mid-season return to the Boston Bruins and potentially a spot on the Finnish men’s national team for the Olympics.
Tuukka Rask was seen on the ice in Boston earlier today before the #NHLBruins morning skate.
After having hip surgery earlier this summer, Tuukka still remains an unrestricted free agent. 👀
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 8, 2021
Since his surgery, he has been performing his rehab and other training with the Bruins staff but not really interacting with the team other than in passing or privately. Even though he is still unsigned, he has stated that the only team with whom that he wants to sign is the Bruins.
“He’s on the ice skating on his own with no equipment, not taking shots, I know that part,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said Tuesday. “He’s here in the morning working with some of our trainers, using the facility and then he leaves. Typically, there’s a crossover when we come in, but we’ve afforded him that and I think it’s worked out well. Tuukka’s just coming in, being a good professional, getting his work done, and I think it’s worked out fine for him, allowing him to do that.”
Don Sweeney has said that he’ll leave the door open for his return and Tuukka stated that he will be really cheap. This is a bit weird in that the Bruins signed Linus Ullmark to a multi-year deal presumably to take over from Rask. That combined with the Bruins riding the Swayman train for now would make it unlikely that the B’s would seek out Rask’s services. However, Swayman being waivers exempt makes it possible for him to be sent down to Providence to play if Tuukka and the Bruins agree to terms.
So how are the two Bruins goalies doing anyway? Let’s have a comparison.
Swayman’s numbers are better overall but both have sub-optimal save percentages. It becomes clear that the team has trouble winning on the road as neither player has a winning record on the road. It’s still too early to really know what we have in net for the full year and it will be a shame if Rask comes in to replace the current better goaltender in Swayman. But, then again, we know exactly what Tuukka is, and while he has some rough moments, when he’s on, he’s better than both of these guys.
Time will tell if Rask and Sweeney agree on terms. We’ll keep an eye on things to see what happens.