Although sidelined for the balance of this regular season and likely not a viable option for the playoffs, the 25-year-old Rask remains the Bruins’ best long-term choice among their current stoppers. Tim Thomas will soon turn 38 and may not last more than another year or two while top Providence goaltender Anton Khudobin’s NHL readiness is virtually impossible to gauge.
In short, if general manager Peter Chiarelli lets Rask’s current, $1.5 million contract rot rather than enhance it ahead of the next free agency period, it will be Boston’s loss. In turn, it will be the gift-wrapped gain of another NHL team that is either facing a scenario similar to that of the Bruins with Thomas or otherwise itching to start anew in the cage.
The seven clubs who could make the best use of the young Finn are as follows in alphabetical order.