Tuukka Rask surprised everyone on Saturday morning when he opted out of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Bruins handed the starting job to Jaroslav Halak after the news, and the veteran backup helped lead the Bruins to a 3-1 victory in Game 3 against the Carolina Hurricanes.
New details emerged on Sunday surrounding Rask. Most notably, the NHL would be okay with the veteran netminder returning to the bubble after taking time with his family.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy was asked if the return of Tuukka Rask was on the table in the coming weeks.
“I guess, I mean Tuukka would best be able to answer that,” Cassidy said when asked if Rask could return to the Bruins during the playoffs. “We exchanged texts today. I left him a message. He’s doing well, family is doing well, so that’s very encouraging for everyone in the Bruins organization. As we said before, we support Tuukka. We wish him well. We want nothing but the best for him and his family.”
Halak made 29 saves in the victory, his first playoff win as a member of the Bruins. For the foreseeable future, he’ll be the guy for Cassidy’s team. While it might be unlikely that Rask returns, the door is not completely shut. That’s a conversation that has yet to happen, however.
“Should circumstances change there where he thinks he can come back to the club, I think we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. See what it involves obviously,” Cassidy continued. “As you said, the NHL is okay with it, that’s how we’d handle that. I wasn’t involved in the conversation when he spoke to Don (Sweeney), so that’s probably another question for Don as well, if they even bridged that.”