Longtime Boston Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask met with the media via video conferencing app Zoom yesterday and was asked about his reasons for leaving the team during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You may recall that Rask left the Bruins and the NHL's bubble in Toronto during their quarterfinal matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes. Well... Rask had his reasons. This wasn't just a case of a guy going stir crazy or getting bored inside the bubble. This was a family emergency.
"Everything happened so quickly," Rask said Wednesday. " ... I got a phone call the night before (Game 3) that our daughter wasn't doing so well at that point. They had to call an ambulance and everything. So obviously at that point, my mind is spinning and I'm like, 'I need to get out of here.' "
Rask left the following day after informing the team. And while it was difficult watching his team bow out to the eventual Stanley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning, the 33-year-old father and husband has zero regrets about his decision.
"It was a tough decision to leave, but then again, it wasn't because I knew that it was more important to be home at that time. So, that was easy to live with," Rask said.
"But also on the other hand, you're home knowing that you could be there, you should be there playing hockey. So, it's tough to watch the games. You're kind of caught in this middle. Your brain is kind of spinning at that point, knowing that you're in the right place but then again you should be there to stop pucks."
Who can blame a man for being there for his family? In any normal season this news would have come and gone in 24 hours. But, due to the nature of the 2020 season and because of the NHL's bubble policy in both Toronto and Edmonton, this story has dragged on and on and on. Now here we are at the beginning of a new season over half a year later and Rask is still having to answer for his decision making. Here's hoping that he can put all these distractions behind him and get back to being the rock that the Bruins need him to be.