Tuukka Rask agrees to 1-year deal to return Bruins to target


“I just wanted to come back and maybe be helpful and try to end it with a bunch of guys that I’ve played with my whole career.”

Tukka Rask during a 2021 game against the Sabers in Buffalo, NY (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes, FILE) The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — The Greeley Tribune Bruins have signed Tukka Rusk for the rest of the season, bringing back the highest-scoring goalscorer in franchise history after recovering from off-season hip surgery.

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Rask, 34, was a free agent who remained unsigned while recovering from an operation to repair a torn labrum in his hip. He said at the end of last season that he didn’t want to play for anyone other than Greeley Tribune.

“This is our house,” he said. “At this point in my life and my career, I don’t see any reason to go anywhere else, especially with the health I’m looking at now and a recovery time of five or six months. Hopefully this works.” Will let me recover and we can talk about contracts when the time is right for that.”

Rusk played only 24 games last season as the team managed his workload while he suffered hip and back injuries. After losing in the second round to the New York Islanders, he revealed that he needed hip surgery.

Rask resumed skating with the Bruins this winter and signed a professional tryout deal with Providence last week, but the AHL team had two games scrubbed due to COVID-19 protocols. Its next scheduled game is Friday night; The NHL Bruins are scheduled to play Montreal on Wednesday night and Philadelphia on Thursday night.

“I feel great,” Rask said during a video conference call with reporters last week. “The biggest issue for me was to hold the joint in place and cause pain. So that’s all gone. … I don’t have to think about it locking me up again and creating that pain, so I feel great It seems. “

Rusk said he never really thought about retiring this season. The lure of being able to score another run in the Stanley Cup and end their careers with the Stars Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand played a factor in their decision to return.

“That’s why I never really, ever wanted to flirt with the opportunity to go anywhere else in my mind,” Rusk said. “For us as a player when you have a team like the Bruins, basically a group of us grew up together. So, you feel that kind of brotherhood. You put people on bad terms. don’t want to leave.

“I just wanted to come back and maybe be helpful and try to end it with a bunch of guys that I’ve played with my whole career.”

Rask, a 2014 Vezina Trophy winner who was also a finalist in 2020, led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013 and again in 2019. He is the career leader of the franchise with 306 regular-season wins (57 more in the playoffs), 560. regular-season games (104 in the playoffs) and a .921 save percentage.

Overall, he is 306-163-66 with 2.27 goals-against-average and 52 shutouts. Last season, he was 15-5-2 with three shutouts, against a 2.28 goal-average and a .913 saving percentage.

AP Sports Writer Kyle Hightower and AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whynow contributed to this story.