Tuukka Rask is (almost) back!
The veteran netminder took another step in his return to the Boston Bruins on Thursday morning, signing a professional tryout offer with the team's AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins, for whom he will
Rask had been foreshadowing his return by practicing with the NHL Bruins for the past few weeks prior to today's announcement, and will now take his talents to the AHL in an effort to hopefully ramp his game back up to its prior level.
In 2021, Rask appeared in 24 games for the Bruins in the pandemic-shortened season, finishing with a 15-5-2 record and a .913 save percentage.
This will be the first time Rask has suited up in an AHL game since the 2008-09 season, when he emerged as the Bruins' goalie of the future with a 33-20-4 record and a .915 save percentage on that same Providence squad before ultimately earning a call-up to the big leagues.
If Rask indeed returns to form down on the farm, it will lead to some interesting decisions in the crease for the Bruins coaching staff moving forward. Both Jeremy Swayman and free-agent signing Linus Ullmark have played admirably in their split workloads thus far, with the former's .920 save percentage only slightly besting the latter's .917. In the event Rask does make his way back to the NHL roster, that will mean one of those two will need to be placed on waivers in order to be sent to the taxi squad, possibly leading to the Bruins losing an NHL quality netminder for nothing.
Based on his play from last season, Rask is still an above-average netminder in this league. Him ultimately replicating a similar performance gives the Bruins a surplus of viable options in net.
And that is always a good problem to have.