The Bruins belatedly released their injury list from the playoffs on Tuesday — and it’s a doozy. The B’s announced that they may very well be starting the 2020-21 season without two thirds of their potent top line. On Sept. 16, David Pastrnak underwent right hip arthroscopy and labral repair, performed at the Hospital for…Big Bruin guns went under the knife — Boston Herald
MIDDLETON — On the eve of what could be a very big day for the Bruins, the club is at the center of much speculation on both the trade and free agent markets. A name constantly bandied about the last couple of years has been that of goaltender Tuukka Rask. But in his first public…Tuukka Rask wants to remain a Bruin — Boston Herald
MIDDLETON — On the eve of what could be a very big day for the Bruins, the club is at the center of much speculation on both the trade and free agent markets. A name constantly bandied about the last couple of years has been that of goaltender Tuukka Rask.
But in his first public comments since departing the Toronto bubble in the first round of the playoff Aug. 15, Rask made it clear that he doesn’t want to go anywhere. And in light of Don Sweeney’s recent public comments, in which he said that he has “zero reservations” about his goaltending tandem of Rask and Jaroslav Halak, he’s not concerned about getting traded.
“I think Sweeney came out and said that’s not going to happen,” said Rask in a brief interview with the Herald before golfing in the Shawn Thornton’s Putts and Punches tournament at Ferncroft Country Club. “I don’t want to play for anybody else but the Bruins.”
But things can change, especially in this volatile financial climate in which hockey finds itself along with the rest of the business world. There’s no telling if a deal comes across Sweeney’s desk that he must consider.
While the 33-year-old Rask didn’t come out and say he’d simply retire if traded – a declaration that would effectively squash any deal — it certainly sounds like any team that might acquire him would not be getting the happiest of campers.
“I don’t see any reason for that,” said Rask, who does not have full trade protection. “I’ve been here for a long time and the organization’s been so great for me. We’ve built our home in Boston and we call this home. So, yeah, I don’t want to play for anybody else. I think where my head’s at is focusing on next year and then hopefully a couple of more years after that and then pass the torch for the next guy after that. I want to help the organization as much as I can.”
As far as a possible extension with the Bruins goes, Rask said that discussion hasn’t happened yet.
“They have so much on their plate right now with the draft and everything, we’re just trying to get the next season going and get back to somewhat normal and then we can talk extension later. I still have one more year left. There’s no rush. But like I said, I don’t want to go anywhere else. I want to finish my career here,” said Rask.
Chances are that none of this trade speculation would be happening had he not left the bubble. But without detailing the emergency that brought him back home to Boston, Rask, the father of three girls, said he has no second thoughts about his decision.
“I got a phone call from my wife and my daughter was in a state that she needed medical attention and she wasn’t doing well. At that point, I had no choice but to go home. It’s as simple as that,” said Rask. “If you get a phone call wherever you are, like I did, it’s a pretty easy decision. What bothered me a little bit was people thinking that I just left because I didn’t like it there. I’m not going to lie to to you, (the bubble) was awful. But if I didn’t have a reason to leave, I wouldn’t have left, obviously. There’s that. But my daughter’s fine now, the family”s good, and it made me feel good. When I got home, they were happy to have me home and things got back to normal pretty quickly, so I knew that I made the right decision. It had nothing to do with hockey or the bubble. It was just the fact that I had to make that decision and I stand by it.”
Rask said there wasn’t much thought about returning to the bubble at that point. He would have had to quarantine for two weeks, but he said there was more to it than that.
“The whole thing was about the unknown,” said Rask. “It’s different when you’re going away for two weeks and you can tell your daughter that Daddy’s going to be home in two weeks. But if you’re like ‘listen, I don’t know when I’m going to be home,’ if that starts affecting her mental health or physical health, then I don’t think it’s good for anybody. That was that.”
Despite being recognized as one of the best goalies in the league – he finished second in Vezina Trophy voting in 2019-20 – Rask has long been a lightning rod for criticism, whether it be for not delivering a championship, for asking for a two-game leave of absence two years ago, for being ill for the final game of the regular season in 2016, for whatever.
But Rask has always been able to at least seem unaffected by it, and he was not overly concerned about fan reaction when hockey does returns.
“Everybody who has talked to me has been very supportive,” said Rask. “We’re professional athletes, but we also have families and we’re normal guys. It’s such a special time in the world for anybody right now that I don’t think you need to be judged as you normally would be. It doesn’t matter, because I know that I made the right decision and I know my family is well right now, and that’s all that matters. And any dad or any mother gets the same phone call I did, if they wouldn’t make the same decision I made, then they’d probably have to live with that consequence. I wouldn’t want to do that. I’d rather get the chirps or whatnot, but my family knows I made the right decision and that’s all the matters to me.”
Meanwhile, the Arizona Coyotes, if they want to trade defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson, must do so by Friday, a deadline imposed by the no-movement clause-toting player. The B’s are one of two teams to whom Ekman-Larsson has agreed to be traded (Vancouver is the other). So far, the ask has been such that no deal has been consummated. Ekman-Larsson has seven years left on a deal that would pay him an average of $8.2 million annually, another major sticking point.
The free agent market is greatly expanded with teams buying out and not qualifying legitimate NHLers. Forwards Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Duclair have been added to a crop that already included forwards Taylor Hall, Mike Hoffman and Tyler Toffoli and defensemen Alex Pietrangelo and the B’s very own Torey Krug. It should make for a very interesting weekend.
The Boston Bruins once again will be without David Pastrnak on Monday night. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy announced Pastrnak won’t play in Game 4 of Boston’s first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes. Anders Bjork will start the game on Boston’s first line alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Pastrnak practiced with the…Bruins’ David Pastrnak Ruled Out For Game 4 Vs. Hurricanes — NESN.com
Judging by rink board adverts, the Columbus Blue Jackets will have plenty of Ohio-sourced gas and groceries for the playoffs against Toronto. They certainly had more get-up-n’-go than the Boston Bruins on Thursday night, and lots of grind in case the Maple Leafs didn’t know they’ll be handful in Game 1 of the best-of-five qualifier […]Blue Jacket beat Bruins, Maple Leafs up next — Toronto Sun
The Boston Bruins on Thursday revealed how they will pay tribute to Colby Cave upon the restart of the 2019-20 season. Each player will sport helmet decals to honor Cave, who in April died at 25 years old after a brain bleed. Cave played in 23 games over parts of two seasons with the Bruins…Bruins To Honor Late Ex-Teammate Colby Cave With These Helmet Decals — NESN.com
Tuukka Rask has been dealing with a fracture in his finger, but he’s not worried about potentially missing any time. After being announced as a finalist for the Vezina Trophy last week, the Boston Bruins netminder on Friday took part in a Zoom call. During the call, he was spotted wearing a splint on his…Tuukka Rask Reveals He Fractured Finger Doing Box Jumps, But Won’t Miss Time — NESN.com
After Pastrnak skated with a group of a dozen players and Kase skated later with Trent Frederic on Wednesday, both were deemed “unfit to participate” on Thursday, according to Cassidy. Who knows what tomorrow or the next day will bring?David Pastrnak, Ondrej Kase absent from Bruins’ practice — Boston Herald
As the NHL begins to allow voluntary workouts for players at team facilities, a Boston Bruin has tested positive for COVID-19. The team announced Friday morning that one of its players tested positive for the coronavirus. However, the player proceeded to test negative twice thereafter and has been asymptomatic. During a Zoom call with the…Bruins Player Tested Positive For COVID-19, Has Since Tested Negative Twice — NESN.com
It was pretty easy to spot Boston Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara in a crowd of the thousands of people who joined demonstrations popping up in communities across the state of Massachusetts on Friday. The Boston Bruins shared a photo of their 6-foot-9 captain joining protests against racism in Brookline, towering over those around him. Check…Bruins’ Captain Zdeno Chara Spotted Marching To Protest Against Racism — NESN.com
It was pretty easy to spot Boston Bruins defensemen Zdeno Chara in a crowd of the thousands of people who joined demonstrations popping up in communities across the state of Massachusetts on Friday. The Boston Bruins shared a photo of their 6-foot-9 captain joining protests against racism in Brookline, towering over those around him. Check it out: The Captain. pic.twitter.com/tRsy2eE3V4 — Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 5, 2020 Chara last week posted a public statement in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder by a Minneapolis police officer, sharing a petition calling for justice for Floyd and other victims of police brutality. “No one should live with the fear and perpetual injustice faced daily by communities of color across the United States and around the world,” it read. Chara commendably took his message to the streets.
Gerry Cheevers believes the Boston Bruins’ bright present will reap future glory. The Bruins legend predicted Thursday in a virtual town hall with season ticket holders the team would win the Stanley Cup Final in the near future. “It’s obviously a great franchise,” Cheevers said, according to NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin. “Just stick by them. They’re going…Bruins Legend Gerry Cheevers Predicts Boston To Win Stanley Cup ‘Soon’ — NESN.com
Gerry Cheevers believes the Boston Bruins’ bright present will reap future glory. The Bruins predicted Thursday in a virtual town hall with season ticket holders the team would win the Stanley Cup Final in the near future. “It’s obviously a great franchise,” Cheevers said, according to NHL.com’s Amalie Benjamin. “Just stick by them. They’re going to win the Cup soon.” Cheevers based his prediction on the enduring quality of the Bruins’ front office and players. “They’ve done a great job, that organization,” he said. “I don’t know what the format’s going to be or what’s going to happen. You (drafted) a guy like Patrice Bergeron (in 2003) — when I still worked for the Bruins (as a scout) … — and Zdeno Chara. I worked with Tuukka (Rask) a little bit. These are good people. The Bruins have done a good job in hiring and signing and recruiting classy players and certainly Patrice Bergeron is the A-1 example of that. And you like being associated with people like that.” The Bruins rebounded from last season’s Stanley Cup Final heartbreak nicely in 2019-20. They were leading the NHL after 70 games with 100 points when the season paused in March. Cheevers seemingly has faith the high-performing group will recover their place atop the NHL heap when the players return from hiatus the coronavirus outbreak prompted. And the Hockey Hall of Famer knows a thing or two about what makes a winning team. He played for the Bruins between 1967 and 1972 and between 1975 and 1980, winning two Stanley Cup Final with the big, bad B’s in the process.
Jaroslav Halak will be back for a third season in Boston. The Bruins’ backup goalie was a pending unrestricted free agent this offseason, but the team on Friday announced they signed him to an extension for the 2020-21 season. He’ll make $2.25 million next season, a slight bump down from the $2.75 million per year…Bruins Sign Backup Goalie Jaroslav Halak To One-Year Contract Extension — NESN.com
It’s been one day since news broke of Colby Cave’s brain bleed, and the Edmonton Oilers center is receiving lots of support from both current and former teammates. The Boston Bruins are among those sending their best wishes to Cave and his family. Several members of the Bruins have recorded messages for Cave, who remains…How Bruins Are Supporting Ex-Teammate Colby Cave During Brain Bleed — NESN.com