Longtime Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask already had his offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, and it sounds like his recovery is going very well.
“I’d be ready to go probably around Christmastime, January," Rask said Wednesday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon. "So, hopefully I can start skating here in a month and a half or so and then kind of progress from there and be ready to go in January”
This is encouraging news for Rask. He told reporters in June after the Bruins were eliminated by the Islanders in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs that January or February was a target date for his return to hockey following rehab from surgery. A Christmas or January return makes it sound like he's a bit ahead of schedule.
Rask noted he is not in ongoing contract discussions with the Bruins, but he added "We had good talks with (GM Don Sweeney) and I think we're on the same page. So we'll see how my rehab goes and then hopefully sign a contract."
Rask, who is an unrestricted free agent, also re-iterated his desire to only play for the Bruins.
"I played on one team when I was in Finland, and I have been so lucky to be part of only one team in the NHL. For me, it's about that pride of playing for one team and one team only," Rask said. "I have no reason to chase the money anymore and go somewhere else. It's going to be one of those things where the Bruins are my home, Boston is my home. I've always wanted to play here, wanted to stay here. The money won't be an issue. We had a conversation with (Sweeney) and I will be a cheap goalie for them, I think."
"I would say I'm not looking for a $7 million contract anymore. I just like to help the team out. I feel like I'm a veteran goalie and there are some young guys coming in, so whatever I can do to help the guys out I will do it and end my career as a Bruin."
The Bruins signed Linus Ullmark to a four-year, $20 million contract in free agency. Ullmark and last year's rookie standout Jeremy Swayman will most likely be the goalie tandem for the Bruins to begin the 2021-22 season.
It wouldn't be a bad thing if Rask entered the mix at some point. It's always good to have depth and experience at that position, especially if it comes at a cheap price. Rask might not be the No. 1 goalie for the Bruins anymore, but he could still give the team value in other ways.