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Bruins GM says success makes Tuukka Rask easier to sign

May 26, 2013, 10:44 PM EDT

raskspitgetty Getty Images

The Boston Bruins made a gutsy decision with pending restricted free agent Tuukka Rask going into 2013: let him prove he’s worth a new contract.

While he’s been successful when given opportunities (aside from that one series against the Philadelphia Flyers, maybe?), the 26-year-old’s resume was still pretty light. GM Peter Chiarelli told that the Finnish netminder has proven himself with this deep playoff run.

“I’m happy for him that he’s playing well and he’s helping the team,” said Chiarelli. “It’s always easier to sign these guys after success. He’s showing some resiliency, which I like, and some durability, which I like.”

While Chiarelli indicates that it will be easier to make the decision to keep him, it certainly won’t be cheaper. The Bruins have the leverage advantage that comes with Rask being a restricted free agent, yet his price tag likely goes up with each playoff victory.

Rask is likely the headliner of an offseason with some significant questions, particularly when it comes to fellow free agents such as Nathan Horton, Jaromir Jagr, Andrew Ference and Anton Khudobin.

Regardless, Chiarelli likes that Rask is coming through in plenty of make-or-break situations.

“I liked [Rask’s] big saves,” Chiarelli said. “We had some real good games where, I’d have to go back and look, but I think we had a chance in every game. The last game, he had those two saves in the third. Not part of sustained pressure. You see a bunch of saves, it’s like point-blank [Ryan] Callahan to [Rick] Nash. Those are big saves. His ability to bounce back from the game before … I like that. It really is about the surges. I like that we’re seeing more of the same.”

Seeing more of it in 2013-14 and beyond could prove costly.

  1. Florio's Lawyer - May 26, 2013 at 11:08 PM

    Just wait till the Penguins get done with him.
    13 goals in their last two games?
    Rask already has a pant-load…

    • nunan - May 26, 2013 at 11:43 PM

      Because Pitt’s goalies are so great. Going to enjoy seeing Vokoun get pulled and have the Pens turn to Fleury..that’ll end well.

    • kissmytaintpatriotsrule - May 27, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      We already tapped your practices and stole your plays. You guys don’t have a chance enjoy getting screwed yet again suckers

      • drone501 - May 27, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        is this you bill.

  2. alwaysgame7 - May 26, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    I was hesitant about Rask earlier in the season, but when he’s on, he’s as good as anyone in the league between the posts. Problem is his consistency, he goes through waves of good and below average. He’s young enough he has plenty of time to refine that though…

    Side note- Looking forward to Spokes V Pens (note unlike the majority (or the vocal minority) of Pens fans I didn’t say anything about winning the cup or talk sh!t about the opposing team)- Two good teams with different playing styles. Boston a well rounded team thats firing on all cylinders and the Pens, a offensive powerhouse. Think it will come down to whose defense + goal tender is better… both offenses are on fire.

    Should be an exciting series

  3. ryanprzy - May 27, 2013 at 2:08 AM

    Give credit where credit is due: Boston has been able to squeeze a lot of talent onto that roster with compliance to the salary cap, even under unfavorable circumstances (Savard, Timmy T). It’s no wonder that they’ve been one of the best teams in hockey for the past several seasons.

  4. pastabelly - May 27, 2013 at 6:24 AM

    Rask might be easier to sign, but not cheaper. PC should not go more than four years as Subban will be ready by then.

  5. tlndma - May 27, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Alwaysgame, I have seen Rask let in a few that he would like to have back but, I would not say he’s ever played “below average”. Not this year. His numbers speak for themselves. If you look back to the Toronto series, there were a couple games that he made remarkable saves to preserve Boston wins.
    It’s going to be a great series coming up. I don’t expect the B’s to totally shut down Pittsburgh. On the other hand Boston’s offense is a much different animal than it was a month or two ago. Lucic is the key for the Bruins. When he’s going, no defenseman is safe.
    If Boston is to win I see Pittsburgh with a couple 5-2 or 6-3 type wins and the Bruins winning their games in 3-2 or 4-3. If the scoring chances are close to even, Boston has a great shot.

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