Tuukka Rask might have hit a bit of a rough patch at the end of the Stanley Cup Final by surrendering 11 goals in the final three games against the Blackhawks, but that still doesn’t change the fact that the Bruins goaltender is in line for a big payday this summer. According to a source with knowledge of the negotiations between Tuukka Rask and the Boston Bruins, the six-year, $39 million contract the Canadiens gave Carey Price “is the starting point for negotiations” with Rask and agent Bill Zito. That means Rask will be commanding at least $6.5 million per season moving forward. One has to wonder if Rask has it in mind that he wants to match or surpass the seven-year, $49 million contract signed by fellow Finnish goaltender Pekka Rinne with the Nashville Predators two summers ago. If he were to get that kind of deal with the Bruins, it would make him the only player on the team to receive more than the $6.9 million salary Zdeno Chara is set to make for each of the next four seasons. A lucrative extension makes sense given Rask proved his worth as a No. 1 goaltender while finishing in the top five in goals against average (2.00) and save percentage (.929) during the regular season, and then helped carry the Bruins to within two wins of another Stanley Cup. Price has a career .915 save percentage and 2.56 goals against average, while Rask has a career .927 save percentage and 2.15 goals against average. And Price’s playoff history pales in comparison to that of Rask, who has proven he can take a hockey club to the Stanley Cup Final while outplaying James Reimer, Henrik Lundqvist and Tomas Vokoun along the way. “[I’m] really proud. I don’t think a lot of people expected us to go this far,” said Rask after Game 6 with the Blackhawks. “We shocked the hockey world beating Pittsburgh, and going to the Finals. I don’t know if we were a little shocked or not, but I’m definitely really proud of the guys and the effort they gave.” The 26-year-old goaltender -- who was recently named to Finland's Olympic Camp roster -- would have been a favorite for the Conn Smythe had the Bruins won the Cup. Instead he must settle as one of the postseason’s best players with a 1.88 goals against average and a .940 save percentage. Rask led the NHL playoff goaltending field in save percentage this spring, and was fourth in GAA behind Jonathan Quick, Corey Crawford and Antti Niemi. Both figures for Rask were better than the stats put up by Tim Thomas in his Cup-winning season of two years ago. But the Finnish goalie doesn’t have the most important hardware that Thomas did have at the end: the Stanley Cup and the Conn Smythe.
Rask 'starting point' for deal is 6 yrs, $39m
NBC Sports Boston | Jun 25