The reports of Tuukka Rask's return from Europe have proven to be absolutely true.
The Finnish goaltender was on the ice Tuesday morning when a group of local NHL skaters participated in an informal skate at a local arena in the Boston area.
Rask dominated in the Czech Republic while playing for HC Plzen after an early scare when he tweaked a past groin injury, and put up a 6-2 record with a .936 save percentage and a 1.85 goals against average. But he presumably reaped everything he could out of the European experience, and now will wait things out in Boston as an NHL season will most likely either live or die in the next six weeks.
Rask's future Bruins goaltending partner Anton Khudobin remains in the KHL to get playing time. Rask has plenty to prove this year on a one-year contract for 3.5 million as he attempts to show that he can be the next franchise goaltender for the Bruins. He got a good start by dominating in his Czech stint.
Rask was joined on the ice Tuesday morning in Boston by B's skaters Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand and Shawn Thornton as well as Mike Mottau, Jay Pandalfo, Ryan Whitney, Brandon Yip and Keith Yandle among others.
Mike Felger, Dan Shaughnessy and Glenn Ordway wonder why the Celtics are even getting a meeting with Kevin Durant when free agency begins. Does it mean they have a legitimate chance of signing him?
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty joins Toucher & Rich to discuss which defenseman the Bruins should go after this offseason, factoring in the cost and age of the players available.
Bill Belichick released a statement on Buddy Ryan's passing Tuesday afternoon.
"Today is a sad day in football due to the passing of Buddy Ryan," Belichick said. "It was always very challenging to compete against Coach Ryan, who was father to a great football family that carries on his coaching and defensive tradition. My condolences are with the Ryan Family."
Belichick is certainly very familiar with Ryan's legacy and the tradition Ryan passed down to his sons Rex and Rob. The Patriots coach has competed against all three.
Rex Ryan has squared off with Belichick during his time as head coach for the Jets (2009-14) and Bills (2015-present), and their matchups go back to Rex's days with the Ravens (1999-2008) when he was a defensive line coach and then defensive coordinator.
Rob Ryan, like his brother, got his first NFL break when his father was the head coach of the Cardinals in the mid-1990s. His second break, though, came from Belichick. He joined the Patriots staff during Belichick's first year as head coach in 2000 and coached linebackers for four seasons in New England. He has since competed against Belichick as a defensive coordinator for the Raiders, Browns, Cowboys and Saints. Rob joined Rex in Buffalo this year to serve as an assistant on the staff there.
For Belichick's thoughts on the impact of Buddy Ryan's famous "46" defense, we dug up some of his comments from a 2012 press conference that you can find here. He called the combination of Ryan's scheme and the talented players Ryan had at his disposal as defensive coordinator of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Bears "pretty unblockable."