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Bruins lock up another young asset in Rask

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 [1] 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 [2] 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 [3] ‘€“ Chiarelli made the determination to keep his prized youngster away from potentially damaging offer sheets.


‘€œI 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. ‘€œTo 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 [4] and Mark Stuart [5] to contend with following this season as well as an organizationally important negotiation with unrestricted free agent Marc Savard [6]. 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 [7], 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 [8] next Tuesday night at TD Garden.


‘€œHe 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.’€