Tuukka Rask has no desire to leave the Boston Bruins as the team enters an offseason of uncertainty.
The B's goaltender has been a subject of trade rumors following last week's TSN report that Boston recently gauged Rask's value on the market. General manager Don Sweeney responded to the rumors by calling Rask a "big part of the roster going forward."
That was music to Rask's ears, because the 33-year-old made it clear in an interview with the Boston Herald he doesn't want to go anywhere.
“I think Sweeney came out and said that’s not going to happen,” Rask told the Herald about a potential trade. “I don’t want to play for anybody else but the Bruins.”
“I don’t see any reason for that. I’ve been here for a long time and the organization’s been so great for me. We’ve built our home in Boston and we call this home. So, yeah, I don’t want to play for anybody else. I think where my head’s at is focusing on next year and then hopefully a couple of more years after that and then pass the torch for the next guy after that. I want to help the organization as much as I can.”
Rask received plenty of criticism for opting out of the Toronto bubble during the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. His decision may have even helped spark the trade rumors despite a stellar season in which he finished second in Vezina Trophy voting.
Some jumped to the conclusion Rask simply didn't want to be in the bubble playing in an empty venue. He set the record straight on his decision, opening up about his daughter's medical emergency.
“I got a phone call from my wife and my daughter was in a state that she needed medical attention and she wasn’t doing well. At that point, I had no choice but to go home. It’s as simple as that,” said Rask. “If you get a phone call wherever you are, like I did, it’s a pretty easy decision.
"What bothered me a little bit was people thinking that I just left because I didn’t like it there. I’m not going to lie to to you, (the bubble) was awful. But if I didn’t have a reason to leave, I wouldn’t have left, obviously. There’s that. But my daughter’s fine now, the family”s good, and it made me feel good. When I got home, they were happy to have me home and things got back to normal pretty quickly, so I knew that I made the right decision. It had nothing to do with hockey or the bubble. It was just the fact that I had to make that decision and I stand by it.”
After Sweeney's comments, we can expect Rask to stay put. But don't be surprised if there are some fireworks once NHL free agency opens Friday at 12 p.m. ET.