Rask: 'Why would I be nervous' about new deal?

Rask: 'Why would I be nervous' about new deal?
June 26, 2013, 11:30 pm
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Six years, $39 million is a starting point for a new deal for Tuukka Rask.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON – Tuukka Rask had a pretty telling response when asked if he was nervous about his upcoming contract negotiations as a restricted free agent with the Bruins.

The 26-year-old is coming off a regular season where he finished in the top five for Vezina Trophy voting, and then posted the NHL’s best save percentage in the playoffs while leading the Bruins to a Stanley Cup Finals berth. He finished two wins short of raising the Cup, but didn’t leave any doubt he’s good enough to backstop a Stanley Cup caliber team.

The Bruins also don’t have any real backup plan to speak of if they couldn’t come to an agreement with the Finnish netminder.

So when asked about contract anxiousness, Rask shot back with “Why would I be nervous?”

That’s because Rask know he’s going to be paid in a major, major way.

A source indicated to CSNNE.com that the six-year, $39 million contract signed by Montreal goaltender Carey Price “is the starting point” to negotiations with the Bruins, and Rask doesn’t hold much trepidation that the two sides will have difficulty coming to an agreement. The Bruins goaltender did all the right things this season by agreeing to a one-year “prove it” contract with the Bruins, and then went out and did it with a 2.00 goals-against average and .929 save percentage.

How much does Rask that long term deal that means he’ll be manning the pipes for the Black and Gold for a long,long time?

“It would be an ideal situation. I want to play here forever, and hopefully that gets to happen,” said Rask. “We’re going to make [the contract] happen. I’m not really worried that things are going to fall apart because we can’t make it work. Obviously we’re going to have some talks, but at the end of the day we’re going to leave all the [expletive] aside and make a deal that makes everybody happy.

“I don’t think I have to answer any of those questions anymore. I played good, and I proved to everybody again that I was capable of doing it. You look at the numbers, and they were good. If you analyze how I felt and looked at different times during the year, and that was pretty good too. I felt really good throughout the regular season and playoffs. You can always be better, but I felt pretty good.”

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli also appeared equally optimistic something will get done sooner rather than later with his young star goaltender, and indicated the fate of backup goaltender Anton Khudobin is tied into Rask’s final contract figure.

“You’d like to get everything done quickly. I don’t know if I’ll have that luxury, but certainly I’ll try just so you have your certainty on your team and cap and all that,” said Chiarelli. “He’s obviously had a terrific playoff, and we’d like to get him done as soon as we can.”

Now all Chiarelli, Rask and agent Bill Zito have to do is leave all the [expletive] aside  and make a deal that makes everybody happy.