The Boston Bruins made a big announcement this week when they revealed that they had locked down veteran goaltender Jaroslav Halak for one more year. It was a significant move from the Bruins given that Halak would no doubt have had a very easy time attracting interest as a free agent this summer and given just how well he played for them over the two year contract that initially brought him to Boston. It was made all the more interesting due to the timing, in the middle of a suspended season, but it appears that the current pandemic causing the shutdown of the National Hockey League's 2019 -2020 regular season may have played a role in Halak's decision to remain a Bruin.
In a recent article Bruins insider Joe Haggerty revealed that the uncertainty surrounding next season and when it will start played a factor in the 35 year old opting for security over free agency and when you think about how things are at the moment it makes all the sense in the world. That could prove to be a huge benefit to the Bruins who got Halak at a decent number, $2.25 million in salary and an additional $1.25 million in bonus money that he is very likely to hit. When ask about the uncertainty playing a role in his decision Halak confirmed as much while also citing several other reasons he chose to remain.
"It made me think, not knowing what's going to happen this year or next,” said Halak, who is still in Boston while quarantining with his family the past few months as per NBC Sports.. “There's always positives that the team is great, the fans are great. It wasn't tough to take a one-year deal. It’s been a special group. We have unfinished business.”
Halak also indicated that his family was very comfortable in the city of Boston so that likely also played a role in his decision as well. It seems that the veteran netminder is himself quite comfortable in spite of being in the shadow of Bruins starter Tuukka Rask, n his first season with the Bruins he saw 40 games and recorded a 2.34 goals against average and a .922 save percentage and that was followed up with another very solid season with 31 appearances, a 2.29 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.