BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) – Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has signed an eight-year, $56 million contract through the 2020-2021 season.
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli made the announcement Wednesday after Rask finished his first full season as a starter with a strong playoff performance. The Bruins lost the Stanley Cup finals in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Two days later, Chiarelli said, "I feel confident that we will get a deal done on Rask in short order."
That same day, Rask said he would like to play with the Bruins "forever," and the one-year contract he played under last season motivated him.
"You always try to be good but then you are trying to get your average game level as high as you can," he said, "that the gap between a good game and a bad game wouldn't be so big. I think I managed to do that this year, and it motivates me for the next year to keep that level and keep getting better."
There was little doubt that the restricted free agent would be back, especially after the Bruins cleared about $4.75 million in space under the salary cap when they sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars in a seven-player deal last Thursday.
The Bruins say that the annual salary cap charge on Rask's contract is $7 million but they didn't reveal the total value of the deal.
In 2011-2012, Rask appeared in 23 games, recording an 11-8-3 record with a 2.05 GAA and a save percentage of .929. In 2009-2010, Rask set a career high in wins (22) and led the NHL with a 1.97 GAA and a .931 save percentage, becoming the first Bruins goaltender to have a GAA below 2.00 since 1998-1999.
Rask became the starter after Tim Thomas, who backstopped the Bruins to the Stanley Cup championship in 2011, took this past season off.
The 6'3'', 185-pound native of Tampere, Finland was drafted in the first round (21st overall) of the 2005
NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins acquired Rask from the Maple Leafs in exchange for Andrew Raycroft on June, 24 2006.