FILE PHOTO: Jun 9, 2021; Uniondale, New York, USA; Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) reacts after a goal by the New York Islanders during the second period of game six of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
January 6, 2022
Tuukka Rask signed a professional tryout contract with Providence of the American Hockey League on Thursday, marking his first step toward a return to the NHL.
Rask, 34, is an unrestricted free-agent goaltender who is working his way back from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.
“I feel great … I don’t have to think about (the hip) locking up on me again and creating that pain,” Rask said Thursday.
Rask has been informally practicing with the NHL’s Bruins. The former Vezina Trophy recipient is expected to start for the AHL club against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms on Friday, with the clubs set to square off on Sunday as well.
The Bruins host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night before opening a two-game road trip. The team then returns home to face the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 12.
“We have a plan in place so it shouldn’t be an issue,” Rask said of being called up to the NHL roster. “I’m planning on playing (Friday) here and we’ll see about Sunday, and moving forward next week I should be with the big guys.”
Jeremy Swayman (8-5-2, 2.20 goals-against average, .920 save percentage) and Linus Ullmark (9-5-0, 2.58, .917) have split goaltending duties this season for Boston.
Rask played in just 24 of Boston’s 56 games last season, posting a 15-5-2 record with two shutouts, a .913 save percentage and a 2.28 goals-against average.
He started all 11 playoff games for the Bruins, whose season ended in the second round with a loss to the New York Islanders in Game 6 of the series.
Rask is 306-163-66 with 52 shutouts, a 2.27 GAA and a .921 save percentage in 560 games (540 starts) with Boston since making his NHL debut in 2007.
–Field Level Media