BOSTON – While the tenor of talks has been good between Tuukka Rask’s camp and the Boston Bruins, he still remains unsigned with only a couple of days between now and the start of free agency.
Indications are that talks have inflated the Bruins goaltender’s asking price to closer to the $7 million per season being earned by Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, and Rask might be pushing to be the highest-paid goalie in the NHL by surpassing his fellow Finn.
CBC's Elliotte Friedman is reporting that the Rask deal will be in the neighborhood of eight years, $56 million, which would put him right near that $7 million per season mark, along with Rinne.
That would be quite the feat after one stellar regular season. Though he was outside the top three in Vezina Trophy voting, and though the Bruins fell two wins short of a Stanley Cup, it’s clear the Bruins are ready and willing to lock up the 26-year-old to terms that will make both sides happy.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that he’s “confident” a contract will get wrapped up with Rask prior to the opening of NHL free agency on July 5, and that the B’s already have a range in mind. “I feel confident we’ll get a deal done with Rask in short order,” said Chiarelli. “I’ve got a place-holder number that I can work around as far as cap-building. I would think [a deal will be done] before [July 5], but I’m okay if it’s done after that too. I’m confident regardless [of the scenario].”
Chiarelli and Rask’s agent, Bill Zito, had what both sides termed “very good” discussions about a new deal for the Bruins franchise goalie during NHL Draft weekend in New Jersey. Those positive talks should set things up for an announcement concerning the new contract in the next week -- meaning there will be plenty of goalie sticks broken over crossbars for a good, long time in the Hub.