Rask out 4-6 weeks with strain, Bruins sign Marty Turco

675118.jpg

Rask out 4-6 weeks with strain, Bruins sign Marty Turco

TORONTO The Bruins have made their moves with the goaltending situation after Tuukka Rask went down with injury last weekend.

First the Bruins announced that Rask will miss 4-6 weeks with a strained groinstrained abdomen suffered in the second period of Saturdays loss to the Islanders, and that puts into question his availability for the rest of the postseason.

But Rask avoided any potential knee injuries and wont need surgery for his legmidsection woes to heal properly.

Then the Bruins knocked down their second domino: they signed veteran netminder Marty Turco to a one-year contract for the remainder of this season. The 36-year-old Turco last played in the NHL for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010-11 season, and played 10 games for EC Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Hockey League earlierthis season mixed in with some television analysis for the NHL Network and TSN in Canada.

Turco will have to clear through waivers a la Evgeni Nabokov last season who was scooped up by the New York Islanders when the Detroit Red Wings were desperate to sign him -- and would join the Bruins on Wednesday if the rest of the NHL takes a pass on the veteran goaltender Boston desperately needs to land.

The big question will be what kind of game shape Turco is in when he arrives in Boston hoping to give Thomas ample rest with 18 games remaining in the regular season for the Bs. The pairing of the 36-year-old Turco and the soon-to-be 38-year-old Thomas also gives the Bruins one of the oldest goaltending tandems in franchise history.

The veteran netminder will not be eligible for the Stanley Cup playoff roster since he was signed following the NHL All-Star break. Turco won a Stanley Cup title with the Dallas Stars and is 273-65-43 in 538 career games for Dallas and Chicago with a .910 save percentage and a 2.35 goals against average. Turco put up an 11-11-3 record with a 3.02 GAA and an .897 save percentage in his final NHL season with the Blackhawks.

Its anticipated that Rask could be back by the end of the regular season to serve as Tim Thomas backup once the playoffs start, but its also expected that Thomas will be making every start for the Black and Gold in the postseason.

Report: Red Sox acquire Chris Sale

Report: Red Sox acquire Chris Sale

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox -- who came away with the top starting pitcher (David Price) and top reliever (Craig Kimbrel) last offseason -- apparently have done it again.

According to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal, the Sox have acquired White Sox ace left-hander Chris Sale for four prospects. Two have been identified (infielder Yoan Moncada and pitcher Michael Kopech) and two are as-yet unnamed:

More to come . . . 

Vatrano takes 'step in the right direction' in return to practice

Vatrano takes 'step in the right direction' in return to practice

BRIGHTON, Mass -- The Bruins lost Matt Beleskey for six weeks to a knee injury this week, and now they’re hoping to get another winger back now that 22-year-old Frank Vatrano has rejoined the Bruins at practice.

Vatrano was wearing a red no-contact jersey at Tuesday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena, but his presence along with the other players at the team skate means that he’s moving closer toward a return to the B’s lineup. While initial timetables for his recovery from foot surgery had him in the early January range for returning to the Bruins lineup, it appears that he might be at least a couple of weeks ahead of that initial expectation.

Either way Vatrano is happy to be back on the ice with his teammates after the torn ligaments in his foot wiped out his training camp and the first two plus months of the regular season for him.

“It was a big step for me today. It was nice to be out there with the guys for the first time,” said Vatrano, who scored a combined 44 goals last season for Providence and Boston in a breakout season with the B’s organization. “I’ve gone through the rehab and done everything I need to do to get back playing, so now the next step is getting back on the ice with the guys. I felt great, so now it’s just waiting to hear the news when I start playing again.”

While Vatrano is still a young, relatively inexperienced player with just one full year of pro hockey under his belt, the sense from the Bruins is that he’s going to help a team that’s currently ranked 25th in the NHL in offense. Claude Julien was encouraged by seeing him out there in the red, no-contact jersey that his teammates were chirping him about, and said that his level play at last spring’s world championships should give him confidence when he jumps back into a big role with the Black and Gold.

“It’s a step in the right direction for Frank. That’s the best way for him to get to the pace of our game because it’s going to take a while when you’ve been out that long,” said Vatrano. “I think his experience at world championships last year is a real blessing in disguise because he gained a lot of confidence there. I think that’s going to help him a lot more than had he not gone.

“He played against a lot of elite players last year, and he fared really well. I think he’ll be coming in now with some confidence, and we just have to sure coming in that we give him every opportunity to succeed by using him properly, and giving him a chance to find his game.”

That certainly sounds like the Bruins are preparing for a top-6 role and maybe some power play time once the young, sharp-shooting Vatrano is back up to full speed. That should be fun to watch once he’s ready to play, and ready to again unleash that shot and release that rivals anybody else for tops on the Bruins roster.