|Bruins lock up another young asset in Rask||11.05.09 at 6:44 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli had a bright young hockey asset taken from him last summer when Toronto leveraged the threat of a contract offer sheet into a trade for Phil Kessel just prior to the season’s start.
Give the B’s GM full marks for not letting that happen again as he locked up another talented youngster in Tuukka Rask to a two-year contract extension that will take the Finnish netminder through the 2011-2012 season. Reports have the salary pinned between $2.6-2.8 million overall with a cap hit in the $1.35 million neighborhood, but exact figures haven’t yet been unearthed.
The 22-year-old was set to become a restricted free agent following the current season, but – along with Milan Lucic – Chiarelli made the determination to keep his prized youngster away from potentially damaging offer sheets.
“I guess you’ve got to change with the times,” said Chiarelli about getting more proactive toward locking up players mid-season, particularly younger players with expiring rookie contracts. “To a certain degree I went through it this summer with Phil [Kessel] and Toronto and I have to consider that. I have to put that into the equation now.”
Rask is 2-1-1 in four games with a 2.41 goals against average and a .915 save percentage, and has already flashed the kind of cool, calm collected style between the pipes that’s made him one of the best goaltending prospects in the world.
The Bruins still have restricted free agents Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to contend with following this season as well as an organizationally important negotiation with unrestricted free agent Marc Savard. Tying up Rask allows Chiarelli to concentrate on other matters at hand with his goaltending completely covered for the next three seasons.
–The picture cleared a little bit more for swine-flu ridden center David Krejci, who will miss at least two games while recovering from a bout with the H1N1 virus diagnosed on Thursday. Krejci will be away from the ice for at least the next 3-5 days in quarantine, and might miss a third game when the Bruins taken on the Penguins next Tuesday night at TD Garden.
“He had a raspy throat and it kind of sunk it into his chest and that’s when they brought him to get it diagnosed. [He’ll be] 3-5 days in quarantine, so he’ll spend that time at home in quarantine.”
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