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Tuukka Rask will enter the season without a safety net

Jul 19, 2012, 9:22 PM EST

Tuukka Rask Getty Images

Back in 2006, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded away goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Andrew Raycroft. It’s already clear how one-sided that trade was, but by the time Rask’s career is over, it might be regarded as one of the worst deals in the history of the Maple Leafs franchise (and that’s saying something).

Rask has already emerged as one of the most promising young goaltenders in the NHL and for years it’s been apparent that he’s been overqualified for the backup job. The question now is if Rask is capable carrying the Boston Bruins and simultaneously filling the shoes of a two-time Vezina Trophy winner.

The Bruins, perhaps due to their tough salary cap position, did not sign a veteran backup to take some of the heat off of Rask. Should he fail, their main alternative is Anton Khudobin, who has a mere seven NHL games under his belt.

It’s definitely a risk and one that will define the Bruins season. However, it’s not a bad one to take.

Handing the reins over to Rask was the logical next step for this franchise to take. They were probably hoping that Tim Thomas would assist in that transition next season — as opposed to taking a year off and sticking the Bruins with his cap hit — but the situation could be far worse. It’s not every team that can lose a goaltender like Thomas and still look like a Cup contender.

  1. kingfooj - Jul 19, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    doesnt need one. Maybe a serviceable back up, but not a safety net.

  2. nepo784 - Jul 19, 2012 at 10:21 PM

    I thought goalies protect the net, not the net protecting the goalie…?

  3. ray2013 - Jul 20, 2012 at 2:27 AM

    Maybe he just needs a safety harness like that dude who walked across Niagara Falls on a highwire. He didn’t have a safety net either.

  4. bildomatic - Jul 20, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Tuukka will be just fine and I think Khudobin will surprise people at how well he can spot Rask. The Bruins are a defense first team and their philosophy is to build from the net out. It’s not like Tuukka is coming in playing for the Leafs or Columbus… He’s got Chara in front of him as well as the top 5 returning D from last season plus what hopes to be an upgrade in Hamilton over Corvo.

  5. homelanddefense - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    they actually have great organizational depth at goalie. Rask is the only one with NHL experience but Khudobin will be fine as a backup.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      Chiarelli commented after the draft how they have no depth at goalie which is why they chose Subban in the 1st round

      • homelanddefense - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:10 AM

        Rask, Subban, Khudobin, and they signed some Finnish elite goaltender. They are fine.

  6. garryjercia - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    ‘Due’, not ‘do’

  7. DED - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:09 AM

    perhaps do to their tough salary cap position,

    That should be “due”.

    Any proofreader job openings at nbcsports.com? ;)

  8. colby010 - Jul 22, 2012 at 8:53 AM

    Tuukka will be fine. This will be the test he needs to see what he can do as #1. Tuukka is 24 you either a your the #1 guys or your platooning, It would be great to be reassured that we have someone between the pipes for the next five to six years. As mentioned in a post earlier by bildomatic, “Tuukka will be just fine and I think Khudobin will surprise people at how well he can spot Rask. The Bruins are a defense first team and their philosophy is to build from the net out.”
    The defense is solid with the strong possibility of Hamilton as there 6th.

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