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Peter Chiarelli: Tuukka Rask ‘wants to prove to me that he is a No. 1 goalie’

Posted By Kevin Dillon On June 29, 2012 @ 1:19 pm In General | No Comments

WILMINGTON — Speaking between sessions at Friday’s development camp, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed the team’s agreement in principle with goaltender Tuukka Rask [1] on a one-year, $3.5 million deal. For bookkeeping purposes, the team will not register the deal until Sunday, the first day of free agency. Rask would have become a restricted free agent Sunday, and he will be one at the end of his upcoming deal.

While Rask only agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth $3.5 million, he certainly plans to be in Boston past next season. According to the general manager, Rask agreed to the one-year deal so he could prove that he is worth a long-term contract.

‘€œHe wants to prove that he is the No. 1 goalie for the Bruins for a long time,’€ Chiarelli said. ‘€œThis was the easiest way to set the stage for that. Tuukka has been a really good goalie for us, but for one year he hasn’€™t been the number one goalie. The stage is set for him and we will see where it takes us.’€

The contract, which is less money and less years than that of comparable goalies Ondrej Pavelec (five years, $19.5 million) and Cory Schneider [2] (three years, $12 million), prevents Rask from testing the market as a restricted free agent.

‘€œHe could have went out and tried to do [arbitration], or tested free agency, and he is not,’€ Chiarelli said. ‘€œHe wants to be a member of the Boston Bruins [3] for a long time and I like to hear that. I know you hear that often when you sign guys, but Tuukka throughout since he has been here, he has started here, and he has been patient.

‘€œHe has worked in Providence and he has worked as a backup. He is following the steps. I like that. I like that he wants to prove to me that he is a number one goalie.’€

Rask, who has a .926 save percentage and a 2.20 goals against average in 102 games with the Bruins, spent the past two seasons backing up Tim Thomas [4]. However, with Thomas likely to sit out next season, Rask will be thrust into the starting role, something that Chiarelli thinks he is capable of handling.

‘€œWe saw [good performance from Rask] for a large portion of [2009-10],’€ Chiarelli said. ‘€œHe’s coming back earlier to train. I guess the proof is in the pudding at the end of the day, but $3.5 million isn’t chump change. He’s shown to me that he’s ready to take that next step.’€


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URLs in this post:

[1] Tuukka Rask: http://media.weei.com/hockey/tuukka-rask.htm

[2] Cory Schneider: http://media.weei.com/hockey/cory-schneider.htm

[3] Boston Bruins: http://media.weei.com/hockey/boston-bruins.htm

[4] Tim Thomas: http://media.weei.com/hockey/tim-thomas.htm

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