BOSTON (CBS) — Tuukka Rask was playing some of the best hockey of his career this season as the Bruins steamrolled their way to the best record in the NHL. But could the clock be ticking on Tuukka Time in Boston?
The 33-year-old netminder has been doing a lot of thinking during the NHL’s break amid the coronavirus pandemic, and has said that his future is up in the air. He even hinted that his career could be over soon, saying he could retire when his current contract expires after next season.
“I have one year left in the contract, so we’ll see if I even play,” Rask told Matt Porter of the Boston Globe. “We’ll see. [Retirement is] always a possibility.”
Rask said if he calls it a career in the NHL, he’ll call it a career everywhere. So he won’t be popping up between the pipes in his native Finland, but rather enjoying life as a family man with his two young daughters (and a third on the way).
“Just be home,” said Rask. “The wear and tear of the travel with two, almost three kids now, makes you think. I love to do it. But it’s tough.”
Though the Bruins — and the rest of the NHL — aren’t playing at the moment, Rask is in the seventh year of an eight-year, $56 million contract with Boston. He was on track to win his second Vezina Trophy, touting a 2.12 goals against average (best in the NHL), a .929 goals against average (second in the league) and 26 victories on the year.
A Rask retirement would leave Boston without a top tier netminder on their roster. His current backup, veteran Jaroslav Halak, will be a free agent after the current season. Dan Vladar, Jeremy Swayman and Kyle Keyser are among Boston’s prospects in Providence.
We’ll see when Rask and the Bruins return to the ice in 2020, with the season on hold amid the coronavirus outbreak. But when they do get back to playing hockey, Bruins fans may want to start soaking in as much Tuukka Time as possible.