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Report: Boston signs Rask to one-year, $3.5 million deal

Jun 28, 2012, 4:29 PM EDT

Tuukka Rask AP

Next year is shaping up to be a “prove it” season for Tuukka Rask.

The Bruins have reportedly come to terms with their young goalie a one-year, $3.5 million deal, suggesting that — with Tim Thomas on sabbatical — it’s Rask’s time to prove he’s No. 1.

Note: CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty says the deal has been agreed to “in principle.” Rask can’t officially sign until July 1 because of Boston’s cap issues (see: Chris Kelly’s contract extension.)

Rask is a solid netminder and one of the better young goalies in the league, but his ability to handle a full workload is in question. Whereas Thomas could be banked on for 55-60 starts per year, Rask has never appeared in more than 45 games in a single season.

Add in Rask’s injury woes and RFA status (he’ll be restricted again after this deal expires), and it’s easy to see why Boston took the cautious approach.

The big question now is what’s next for Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli.

The club has over $9 million locked into goaltending and is perilously close to the $70.2 million cap ceiling. Moving Thomas’ contract seems necessary at this point, and Chiarelli could be aided on that front.

As the Sporting News’ Jesse Spector points out, seven teams finished last year under the $54.2 million cap floor: Nashville, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Carolina, Dallas, Colorado and the New York Islanders.

Will any of them pick up Thomas’ contract, potentially freeing up Boston to add a piece via trade or free agency?

  1. mianfr - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Isles would do that in a heartbeat, you figure. The other teams are actually looking to spend, it seems, and would much rather sign a free agent who, you know, would play for them.

    Mr. Parise is suiting up in the blue and orange next year, nor is Mr. Suter. I bet the Isles would like the relief of passing the threshold without doing anything regrettable. It’s more like a cap exception for them, allowing them to float at a much cheaper salary level than before, since they won’t have to pay Thomas anyway.

  2. mclovinhockey - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    A team that doesn’t have enough money to reach the cap floor picking up a goalie who won’t play and waste 5 mill is a joke. Any gm who agrees to that should be fired and banned from the sport. Just sign a free agent or something. Don’t waste money that your franchise can’t afford to lose.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:49 PM

      The Thomas contract is only counted against the salary cap. His actual salary is $3m but if he doesn’t play or retires, the team does not have to pay him the $3m

  3. mclovinhockey - Jun 28, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Why are people saying they won’t have to pay for Thomas??? He is under contract, if the entire islanders team sat our the season they would all still get paid. If the islanders would rather pay 5 mill for someone who doesn’t play rather than signing someone they could use to a 5 mill deal or to tact it onto an offer for a one year deal, Garth Snow would be fired right away.

    • mickeyb21 - Jun 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

      the team that took on Thomas’s contract would suspend Thomas if he does not play. If a player is suspended by the team or league, they do not get paid. This is why salary floor teams would take Thomas. They get the cap hit and do not have to pay any dollar amount if he chooses not to play.

      • itsallniceonice - Jun 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

        100% correct. It’s like legally cooking the books.

    • homelanddefense - Jun 29, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      Mclovin, this is the second story in which you have posted about Thomas. You are 100% wrong. A team does not have to pay a player who refuses to show up for work.

  4. colby010 - Jun 28, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Reblogged this on ChristopherColby and commented:
    Good move by the bruins. This leaves open oppurtunities for a 1st line winger and center. Krechji and Lucic are on the bubble. Need a scorer. Seguin is a few years off. 2 max. But they need help now

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