Some more pessimistic Bruins fans breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday afternoon, as it was announced that the B’s and G Tuukka Rask agreed to a one-year contract extension, making it official that Rask will be between the pipes to start the 2012-2013 campaign.
Rask’s deal is being “held up” by a tagging issue similar to the one holding up Chris Kelly’s deal: teams can’t go over the current (2011-2012) season’s salary cap in future (2012-2013 and beyond) dollars. Both the Rask deal and the Kelly contract will be officially entered on Sunday (July 1), when free agency and the 2012-2013 season kick off.
It’d be interesting to know which side proposed the one-year deal first. This move works out great for the Bruins: they get their goalie back, but they also essentially get a trial period of sorts, a year to see what Rask can do before committing to him long term. Clearly the B’s have some questions about committing to the young Finn, whether it’s because of his recent health problems or because he’s never shouldered the full load before.
Rask doesn’t really win in this situation, but he doesn’t lose either. He gets a bit of a raise, and gets a chance to REALLY cash in next summer. The only cloud in Rask’s eye could be the fact that he’ll still be a RFA at the end of this contract, meaning he’ll have to go through these negotiations all over again in the summer of 2013 (assuming an extension isn’t agreed to during the season).
In my opinion, this deal is great for both sides. The B’s get their goalie back, and also get a year in which they’ll be able to determine whether or not he’s the goalie of the future in Boston; Rask gets to stay in Boston, gets the keys to the goaltending castle, and gets the chance to earn himself some serious money next summer.
The whole thing is kind of like an engagement: each side likes and respects the other and the altar is in sight, but neither is quite ready to make that long-term commitment yet.
All in all, a good move for the B’s.