There are a lot of fans in Boston right now that are very angry with Boston Bruins star goaltender Tuukka Rask and frankly I do not blame them one bit. Their number one goalie has up and quit in the middle of the Stanley Cup playoffs, effectively devaluing the sacrifice his teammates made all season long in the regular season and the sacrifice they have all made to enter into, and remain in, the National Hockey League's playoff bubble.
The frustration seems to stem largely from the fact that there seemed to be no real reason behind the decision from Rask, with the veteran goaltender simply stating that he needed to put his family first at this current time. Certainly everyone can empathize with Rask on this point but there are literally hundreds of NHL players currently competing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs that are dealing with similar issues and thus far none of them have quit, which by contrast paints Rask in a relatively bad light and in many ways makes him look like a quitter. That being said though there now appears to be much more to this story, the details of which are likely to never go public.
Yesterday there were rumblings that there may have been more behind Rask's departure from the team, specifically as it pertains to a family emergency, after broadcaster Dale Arnold made comments to that effect during the broadcast of Game 3 between the Bruins and Carolina Hurricanes. Arnold did not go into detail at the time but he did clarify his comments today and was insistent on the fact that there was definitely a family emergency involved here.
"[Rask] texted me back and I asked specifically if I could share this part of what he said to me and he said you can. The fact of the matter is he said to me there was a family emergency," Arnold said on WEEI radio. "He went on to say everything is fine now, but there was a family emergency and he felt he needed to be back with his family."
For those who don't know Arnold has been in close personal contact with Rask in part due to a book he is currently writing and when he made his original comments on the matter he was reading directly from his phone. Although the emergency now appears to have passed, which would explain why Bruins general manager Don Sweeney insisted that Rask's family was fine, it was enough to convince Raks that he needed to return home despite the playoffs.
Arnold went on to say that he spoke to a former teammate of Rask's who was aware of the details behind this mysterious family emergency and was told by that former teammate that he would have acted the same way that Rask did given the circumstances.
"So both Tuukka said it was a family emergency, everything is fine now, but I have to be there for my family and a former teammate saying he talked to Tuukka, he would have left too."
As I said given how this has been presented it would appear that Rask wants to keep whatever happened private, even if it means damaging his reputation in the eyes of some fans, and we may never here the full details behind what caused him to walk away from the Bruins at such a bad time.