Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask announced Friday he's planning to undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip that'll keep him sidelined until January or February.
Rask, an impending unrestricted free agent, also said he doesn't expect to leave Boston.
"I'm not going to play for anybody else but the Bruins," the 34-year-old told reporters. "This is our home. We have three kids with friends in school. I don't see any reason to go anywhere else at this point in my career."
The Finn split playing time with Jaroslav Halak and Jeremy Swayman during the regular season, but he returned to a full-time starting role for the playoffs. He played well, posting a 2.36 goals-against average and .919 save percentage in 11 starts.
Boston advanced past the Washington Capitals in five games during the first round, but it was eliminated from Stanley Cup contention Wednesday with a six-game series loss to the New York Islanders.
While Rask hopes to return next season, the Bruins could be forced to make some tough decisions in the offseason.
The team must account for 11 unrestricted free agents, including Rask, Halak, David Krejci, Taylor Hall and Mike Reilly, and eight restricted free agents, led by Ondrej Kase, Nick Ritchie and Brandon Carlo. Boston also needs to keep in mind Charlie McAvoy will be in line for a lucrative extension after next season.
So whether bringing back Rask, who counted $7 million against the salary cap in 2020-21, will fit in the team's plans is unclear. The 22-year-old Swayman, a Hobey Baker Award finalist last year with Maine, posted a .945 save percentage in 10 games during the regular season and will count a team-friendly $925,000 against the cap through 2022-23.
Rask could need to take a sizable pay cut to remain in Boston, especially if the front office is confident Swayman's strong play will continue.
Rask, who ranked 13th in Money Puck's goals saved above expected during the regular season, remains one of the NHL's most reliable goalies, but Swayman's emergence (he ranked 10th in those rankings) and the high number of players needing new contracts complicates the veteran's outlook.
The 2014 Vezina Trophy winner has spent his entire 14-year NHL career with the Bruins.