Tuukka Rask Signs AHL Tryout Contract in NHL Comeback Attempt with BruinsJanuary 6, 2022
Former Vezina Trophy winner Tuukka Rask is attempting to resume his NHL career.
Per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, Rask has signed a tryout contract with the Providence Bruins of the AHL.
Wyshynski noted Rask is expected to make his first appearance for the Bruins on Friday against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Following the Boston Bruins' playoff loss to the New York Islanders, Rask told reporters he played last season with a torn labrum in his hip that would require surgery:
"Start the recovery process and then we'll see what the future holds after that. Hopefully the recovery goes well and I'll be ready to play hockey at some point next year…mentally, I'm up for [continuing to play]. The physical aspect, hopefully everything goes well, then we'll probably be looking at a January or February return to hockey. That's kind of the plan, and hopefully it works out."
During that same press conference, Rask said he's "not going to play for anyone else" other than the Boston Bruins.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters on Tuesday that he likes what he's seen from Rask during practice sessions in recent weeks.
“He looks good. I’ve watched him for years, so I’m stating the obvious. He’s an excellent goaltender, technically sound. Not a lot of wasted movements for Tuukka,” Cassidy said.
The 34-year-old was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2005, but he was traded to Boston for Andrew Raycroft before the start of the season.
The Bruins called Rask up to their roster in November 2007. He only appeared in five games over his first two seasons before becoming Boston's starting goalie for the 2009-10 season. The Finland native led the NHL in save percentage (93.1) and goals against average (1.97) in 45 games that season.
Rask ranks first in Bruins history among goaltenders in games played (560) and wins (306). He's tied with Tim Thomas for best save percentage in franchise history (92.1) among goalies with at least 100 appearances.
He led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup title in the 2010-11 season and won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goaltender for the 2013-14 season.
Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman are Boston's primary goalies this season. The duo has a 17-10-2 record with a 2.39 goals against average and a 91.8 save percentage.
The Bruins are currently one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.