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Report: ‘Starting point’ for Rask’s new deal is six years, $39 million

Jun 25, 2013, 2:53 PM EDT

Tuukka Rask Getty Images

Last summer, the Boston Bruins signed Tuukka Rask to a one-year, $3.5 million extension — a “prove-it deal” designed for the Finnish netminder to show he was capable of carrying the No. 1 gig.

Well, Rask proved it.

And now he wants to get paid.

According to CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, the starting point for Rask’s extension negotiations with Boston is for $39 million over six years — an average annual cap hit of $6.5 million.

In terms of cap hit, the deal would tie Rask with Carolina’s Cam Ward for the third highest among active goalies.

The only ones earning more annually are Nashville’s Pekka Rinne ($7 million per) and New York’s Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875 million per).

Rask holds plenty of clout following a banner 2013 campaign.

He’s only 26, and coming off a year in which he went 19-10-5 during the regular season with a .929 save percentage and 2.00 GAA, then got even better in the playoffs, going 14-8 with a .940 save percentage and 1.88 GAA.

What’s more, Bruins don’t really have another option.

Anton Khudobin was a serviceable backup last season, though few figure he’s capable of handling an NHL starting gig. Malcolm Subban, taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is years away from being able to compete for the job.

(UPDATE: This section should also include mention of Niklas Svedberg, the 23-year-old Providence product that won AHL goalie of the year for 2012-13.)

So, Rask is coming back. The question is at what price.

Boston is tight up against the cap — just $5.8 million in space with 18 players signed — but will essentially do whatever it takes to retain Rask, who may have been the club’s MVP this season.

What a hefty price tag could mean, however, is less money to offer pending UFA Nathan Horton.

The B’s also need to start looking toward an extension for Patrice Bergeron — a UFA following 2013-14 — and what they plan to do with Dennis Seidenberg, who also goes unrestricted next summer.

  1. valarmorghuliss - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Sure I’d pay 6.5 for Rask, on a 3 year deal Tops

  2. apkyletexas - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Rask had the best defense in the league playing in front of him in the playoffs. The one time they absolutely HAD to have him make a few saves, he has a 17-second meltdown of historic proportions.

    So, do you attribute his playoff success to his ability, or to the Bruins’ defense? And who gets the credit for his meltdown?

    Not sure I’d be investing $40 million bucks to find out.

    • mp1131211 - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      He made 3.5 mil, he’s asking for 6.66- means they’re really discussing around 5 million. Rask wants more than 5 mil, Bruins will offer less than.

  3. sanfranbruinsfan - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Ouch. Can’t say he didn’t earn it by being a great team player playing behind Thomas and waiting his turn. B’s have invested too much in Rask to walk away. $6.5 would hurt the Bs cap situation for the next two years. Gotta build from the goalie out, no other options really. Except the obvious Rask for Lundqvist deal. Hahaha, kidding.

    Too bad Tim Thomas played so far out of his mind that he literally lost his mind in 2011. Would have been interesting to see him in vs Pitt and Chicago.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 26, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      As a Pens fan I had this reoccurring dream (nightmare?) that the Pens would skate out for the Islanders series and Thomas would be standing there laughing manically between the pipes.

  4. greenmtnboy31 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Beg Tim Thomas to come back, he’s Boston’s only hope.
    Rash ain’t worth it.

    • tk41 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:55 PM

      There is no question to which “bring back Tim Thomas” is a good answer.

      • mp1131211 - Jun 25, 2013 at 9:58 PM

        excellent!

    • pouncex23 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      are you dumb?

    • valoisvipers - Jun 26, 2013 at 12:16 AM

      Correct me if I’m wrong but the Bruins traded the rights to Tim Thomas to the Islanders.

  5. micklethepickle - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:17 PM

    Amazing goalie, but am I the only one who thinks he is just creepy looking? Every time he takes the mask off I’m like “AH!”

    • hockeydon10 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      It’s not “creepy”, it’s “crazy”, like goalies of old used to be. After all, something has to be slightly unhinged to want to get in front of those slap shots.

    • reppintdot - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      haha he has a serial killer face

  6. boltsfan777 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:22 PM

    He had a great year, no doubt, but that’s a lot of money to risk for any goalie. They seem to be prone to mental problems and premature flakiness. A solid (but not great) goalie can look unbeatable when surrounded by a swarming, solid D like the B’s have.

    Is it clear the B’s had such a great year largely because of Rask’s success, or was it the other way around? I don’t know.

  7. giantssb42champs - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    He’s good but not $6+mm good.

  8. lombardisshineinfoxborough - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    I’m surprised this article neglected to mention Svedberg, the Bs goalie in Providence. Didn’t he win the AHL goalie of the year award? Anyway, got to pay Rask…no two ways about it.

  9. mpops86 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    So he’ll come back at 6-6.5M. That means to retain Horton, they’ll probably have to let Ference walk in favor of Bartkowski or Krug. If they get really pressed, they’ll look to move Peverley.

  10. 19to77 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    Jeez. With a price tag like that they’d need to look long and hard at buying out Paille. I’d also look at Kelly’s steep price tag for a third-liner, though I really would prefer to keep him if possible at this point. I imagine this may also risk the end of Ference’s time with the B’s. Rask, Bergeron and Horton need to be top-priority. There’s a high chance that Horton leaves with Rask wanting a cap hit like that, but they have to try to keep both however possible.

    • 19to77 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      Derp. Peverly, not Paille.

      • dmckella1 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:04 PM

        Glad you corrected. Paille deserves every dime ever minted by the U.S. Treasury. <—Exaggeration, but you get the point haha

      • 19to77 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:32 PM

        Definitely. Not enough coffee today I guess, haha. Paille’s a bargain.

  11. rosloe62 - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Great goalie this year…but way too much for way too long, in the hard cap era of the NHL.
    The only ones earning more annually are Nashville’s Pekka Rinne ($7 million per) and New York’s Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875 million per). How did these teams do?
    Great defensive teams find ways to elevate their goalies.

  12. sonofsamiam - Jun 25, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    The Bruins are in a better cap situation than this article would lead people to believe. It neglects to take into account the 4+ million in cap space created by placing Savard on the long term IR. 10 million in cap space is a more accurate tally.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Yeah but you can’t play without a goalie. They don’t have anybody with enough NHL experience to start the season as it stands right now. If Rask just sits and waits it out the Bruins will either have to cave in and pay him or trade him to somebody that will unless they want to dig themselves a hole to start the season. If he is willing to take 5 years 29 million I’d sign and date it. The Bruins either have to sign him long term for a lower cap or short term for a huge cap hit. They were the ones who didn’t want to extend him long term at the beginning of the year. That was a fine plan, but they can’t have their cake and eat it too. He brought it all year long and performed to the level of a Vezina candidate, so now they’ve gotta pay him like one. Success comes at a price sometimes. :/

  13. thetruth1313 - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    It’s a starting point so it could possibly be a little lower after negotiations. The Bruins have invested enough in Rask the last couple years and he’s still young.

    Long term deal for Bergy is priority and Rask will cash in. No better goalie out there right now that’s available that would be better

  14. govtminion - Jun 25, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Pay the man… but make it clear to him that the more he demands, the less is available to build a team around him. If he wants to keep playing alongside Horton and such, he’ll have to keep that in mind.

    That said, he made some great strides this season. Get this done, Chiarelli- I don’t want to see this kid playing somewhere else.

  15. ajsjr40 - Jun 25, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Not sure Horton should be retained. Given his injury history I would not invest big money in him. Far too risky with this hard cap.

  16. dboldave - Jun 25, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I’m betting Horton is gone because some team will throw a bunch of money at him based on his playoff numbers. The big wild card going forward is Seguin. Can he turn into the player he is supposed to be? Or will he continue his downward slide towards mediocrity? Huge factor for the B’s and I hope the full offseason does him some good.

    • desertfan - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      Go Kessel go- great move by TO!!!

  17. kingsfan93 - Jun 25, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Bruins must love overpaying for a goalie like, Rask, at $6.5M a season. Rask may of proved he can be a starting goalie and be able to take the team to Stanley Cup Final. But knowing he hasn’t won the Stanley Cup or anything, Bruins still willing to overpay for him. Not even John Quick demanded that much.

    • chanceoffleury1 - Jun 26, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Quick signed a 10 year deal though and it was under the old CBA. Malkin and Crosby signed really similar deals, but Malkins had a bunch of dead salary cut off of it since it was a shorter deal. Likewise, it made Malkin’s cap hit higher. The risk you take with a lower cap hit is that the player will perform at a high level for a long time. The shorter deal removes that risk, but you almost always end up with a larger cap hit. The player sacrifices long term job security for a little more money.

  18. giantssb42champs - Jun 25, 2013 at 8:12 PM

    Wasn’t Rask the goalie for the 2010 bruins that blew the 3-0 series lead to Philly? Or was that Thomas?

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 25, 2013 at 8:23 PM

      It was Rask

  19. hockeyflow33 - Jun 25, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    Absolutely not but they overpaid Lucic with a $6m per year contract so who knows

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