It was a shocker for many fans across the National Hockey League - and especially for his own team the Boston Bruins - when star goalie Tuukka Rask quit on his club, leaving the Toronto bubble and opted out of the postseason to return home.
The goalie’s decision was announced Saturday less than two hours before the Bruins played the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, which they fortunately ended up winning thanks to backup and now new started Jaroslav Halak.
“I want to be with my team competing, but at this moment there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family,” Rask said. “I want to thank the Bruins and my teammates for their support and wish them the best.”
And it seems like Rask might have more important things to do than hockey from now on. Team insider Joe Haggerty revealed on TSN690 that Rask might be completely done with hockey, looking to move on in life and focus on other interests.
“The speculation out there is that he might not even play after next year…I don’t think hockey is all that important to Tuukka, I think he has other interests, I think he has other things he likes to do… I don’t think it burns inside his belly like it does in all those other Bruins players and it’s why you see these things from him from time to time…I just think hockey’s not as high up on the list as it needs to be for a guy you’re paying that kind of money to.”
While we don’t know what other interests Rask has, if the passion isn’t there anymore, he cannot be forced to stay in the NHL and be unhappy. It wouldn’t be fair to him, or the Bruins and their fanbase.
Rask is a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the goalie voted as best in the NHL during the regular season as he was 26-8-8 in 41 starts with a League-best 2.12 GAA, finishing second with a .929 save percentage.
He has one season remaining on an eight-year, $56 million contract ($7 million average annual value). One that could go to waste…