BOSTON (CBS) — Almost two months have passed since Tuukka Rask left the NHL’s bubble in Toronto during the Bruins’ postseason run. In that time, the goaltender has been the recipient of an avalanche of criticism, but he’s remained out of the public eye.
Rask broke his silence on Thursday, though, speaking to the Boston Herald at Shawn Thornton’s charity golf tournament. Rask explained that his daughter “needed medical attention” and “wasn’t doing well,” at which point Rask made the immediate decision to go home.
It’s a decision that Rask says he absolutely does not regret.
“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,” Rask told the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy. “If you get a phone call wherever you are, like I did, it’s a pretty easy decision.”
Considering Rask’s departure came just days after he stated that games in the bubble did not feel at all like playoff hockey, many media members and fans assumed that Rask left the bubble solely for that reason. Rask admitted that such criticism didn’t sit well with him.
“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,” Rask told Conroy. “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 didn’t specify what ailed his daughter, but he told Conroy that she is doing well now. Rask said he didn’t return to the bubble in order to not negatively affect “her mental health or physical health.”
“I know that I made the right decision and I know my family is well right now, and that’s all that matters,” Rask told Conroy. “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.”
As for his hockey career, Rask has one year left on his contract. Though his name has been bandied about in trade rumors, the 33-year-old said he doesn’t want to play for any team other than the Bruins.
“I’ve been here for a long time and the organization’s been so great for me,” Rask said of the Bruins. “We’ve built our home in Boston and we call this home. So, yeah, I don’t want to play for anybody else.”