It’s been an interesting three months for Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask.
From unexpectedly leaving the NHL’s playoff bubble to being the center of trade rumors, Rask’s name has been a frequent one among hockey talk for months.
After the Bruins were eliminated from the playoffs by the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning, Rask was not made available to the media via zoom for his end of the year availability.
On Thursday, Rask made his first public comments since leaving the bubble, speaking to the Boston Herald.
Rask revealed what it was that caused him to leave Toronto and head back home to Boston.
“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,” Rask told the Herald.
“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 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.”
Rask was also asked about the trade rumors that surround him and the Bruins. At 33-years old, Rask has one year remaining on his current contract and he undoubtedly wants to spend it in Boston.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Some have speculated that after leaving the bubble, Rask’s head is not in it like it once was, but by the sounds of things, that does not appear to be true.
Rask admitted that a potential extension with the Bruins has yet to be discussed, but he understands that with the draft just completing and free agency beginning on Friday, general manager Don Sweeney is a busy man.
“They have so much on their plate right now with the draft and everything, we’re just trying to get the next season going and get back to somewhat normal and then we can talk extension later,” Rask said. “I still have one more year left. There’s no rush. But like I said, I don’t want to go anywhere else. I want to finish my career here.”
Whether Rask does indeed finish his career in Boston remains to be seen. But at least for now, Rask is saying all the right things.