There has been plenty of talk about what might happen with the goaltending in Boston. Will the Boston Bruins keep one, both or neither of their tandem in Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak? It’s one of the better goaltending tandems in the NHL now, but how long will either keep playing and what are the Bruins planning to do in other areas?
The Bruins must believe the defending Jennings Trophy winners have a lot more to offer as NBC Sports analyst Bob McKenzie reported that the Bruins are open to extending both Rask and Halak. Not only that, but McKenzie suggests the team is willing to do so before the season is over. Despite the NHL Expansion Draft playing a role in team decisions to sign free agents, McKenzie says it’s possible, “if they get the sense from the goaltenders that’s what they want to do.”
Rask has talked in the past about not being sure how much longer he’s interested in playing professional hockey, citing time with his family as a priority. But, he finished second in Vezina Trophy voting last season while leading the league in goals against average. Clearly, he’s still among the premiere NHL starters and if the Bruins can get a deal done with him on a short-term basis for a reasonable amount of money, it would be crazy not to try.
Halak currently has a sub-2.40 GAA and is in his third season with the Bruins. He is a perfect back-up for Rask and he’s settled into his role with the team nicely.
What Are the Contract Asks?
Both goaltenders are set to become unrestricted free agents and depending on what the two backstops want on a new contract, it might not be a realistic option to keep both.
There are some decent names potentially becoming available on the market this offseason — Jordan Binnington, Frederik Andersen, and Petr Mrazek to name a few. But, if Rask were to become available, he’d be the prize of the goalie market. It’s not likely that Rask would ever choose to leave Boston, so it’s really just about the money and his desire to continue playing.
The Bruins could probably afford to pay Halak high-end back-up money, but could they find a less expensive replacement? And, if a player like Jack Eichel or another big name asset shakes loose and the Bruins want to be players, is money better spent elsewhere?
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