Bruins Goalie Rask Ending Comeback, Announces Retirement

By KYLE HIGHTOWER, AP Sports activities Author

BOSTON (AP) — The winningest goaltender in Boston Bruins historical past is looking it a profession.

Citing an incapacity of his physique to reply after his latest return to the ice following offseason hip surgical procedure, Tuukka Rask introduced his retirement from NHL on Wednesday.

“As we speak is a day that I hoped would by no means come. However now that it’s right here, I really feel I owe it to everybody to listen to it from me,” the 34-year-old mentioned in assertion tweeted by the staff. “Over these previous few weeks, I’ve realized that my physique will not be responding the way in which it must for me to play on the degree l count on of myself and that my teammates and Bruins followers deserve.

“Subsequently, it’s with a heavy coronary heart that I announce my retirement from the sport of hockey.”

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Rask ends his profession with a franchise-best 308 profession wins and 14,345 saves. His .921 save proportion and a pair of.28 targets in opposition to common are additionally one of the best amongst former Bruins goalies with a minimum of 30 begins.

A two-time All-Star, he received the 2013-14 Vezina Trophy and 2019-20 Jennings Trophy and likewise was the No. 2 goalie on Boston’s 2010-11 staff that received the Stanley Cup.

However he performed in solely 24 video games final season because the staff managed his workload whereas he fought hip and again accidents. After a second-round loss to the New York Islanders, he revealed that he wanted hip surgical procedure.

Rask was a free agent this summer time and remained unsigned whereas he recovered from an operation to restore a torn labrum in his hip. He agreed to a prorated $1 million, one-year deal final month that was scheduled to pay him $545,000 for the rest of the season.

“Once I made the choice to have surgical procedure on my hip final summer time, I did so understanding that the highway to restoration could be difficult,” he mentioned in his assertion. “I additionally knew it was one thing I must do if I needed to present myself an opportunity to play my finest hockey once more.”

Finally, Rask’s return lasted simply 4 video games.

He started skating with the Bruins once more this winter and finally signed an expert tryout settlement with Windfall final month. However the AHL staff had two video games that have been imagined to function rehab begins for him scrubbed due to COVID-19 protocols.

He determined to return the NHL with out the tune-ups and allowed two targets and stopped 25 pictures throughout his season debut in Boston’s 3-2 win over Philadelphia on Jan. 14. However the Bruins fell in two of his subsequent three begins with Rask permitting 12 targets. In his 4 video games he gave up 14 targets with 76 saves.

Rask mentioned final month that he by no means actually contemplated retiring this offseason and the motivation to come back again was to make yet one more run at a Stanley Cup and end out his profession alongside longtime teammates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

“The most important level for me was if I really feel nice I wish to attempt to come again,” he mentioned. “The one factor I wish to do at this level is attempt to assist out. I’m not searching for a giant contract like I’ve mentioned earlier than. I simply wish to come and assist out the fellows and do my half that approach.”

As an alternative he leaves a Bruins staff that’s 27-15-3 and at the moment holding onto the Jap Convention’s closing wild-card spot. Boston can be going through a stretch with out two of its prime gamers.

Bergeron skated gingerly towards the bench after getting snarled with Sidney Crosby and slamming exhausting into the boards halfway by means of the third interval of Boston’s 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh Tuesday. He’s been dominated out for Thursday’s matchup in opposition to Carolina with a head harm.

Marchand can be going through his eighth profession suspension and second this season.

Marchand obtained a match penalty with 25 seconds to play on Thursday after throwing a punch at Tristan Jarry’s head and poking the goaltender’s masks together with his stick as a linesman was escorting him away from the fray. Marchand sat for 3 video games for slew-footing a Vancouver participant in late November.

As for Rask, he mentioned he leaves the ice with no regrets.

“By means of all of the ups and downs, I’m so grateful for all of the assist this staff and the individuals of Boston have given me. I’ll miss the whole lot that comes with representing the Boston Bruins,” Rask mentioned in his assertion. “I’m so proud to have worn the Spoked-B for my whole profession and wouldn’t have had it every other approach.”

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