Late Wednesday afternoon, another report surfaced that Tuukka Rask will sign a professional tryout with the AHL affiliate for the Boston Bruins, the Providence Bruins, either today or tomorrow.
Boston Hockey Now then emailed Rask’s agent Markus Lehto to confirm the report and also confirm that no other NHL team had jumped into the fray and piqued Rask’s interest. Lehto would not confirm or deny the latest Providence PTO report but he did make it clear that regardless of any interest or contract offers from any other NHL team, the winningest goalie in Boston Bruins history is about to officially become a Bruin once again.
“Bruins will be the team,” Lehto wrote.
As Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has told the media twice since Dec. 28, the latest report Wednesday, from PuckPedia, is that the plan is for Tuukka Rask to play one or maybe even two games for the P-Bruins in Providence this weekend while the Bruins are on a two-game road trip to Tampa Bay (Saturday) and Washington (Monday). According to Puckpedia in a Twitter direct message to BHN Wednesday night, that PTO will be signed ‘within the next day or two’ and Rask will do what amounts to an AHL conditioning stint to test if he’s ready for game action.
Believe that 34 y/o G Tuukka Rask will be signing a PTO with Providence in the AHL this week, as a first step before signing an NHL deal with the Bruins next weekhttps://t.co/hDVeS0lbDR
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) January 5, 2022
On Thursday morning, NHL Network and ESPN analyst Kevin Weekes tweeted that Rask will be practicing with the P-Bruins on Thursday.
— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) January 6, 2022
This all came a day after Lehto wrote this in an email to Boston Hockey Now:
“No deal in place for Tuukka.”
Later Tuesday, an NHL source close to the situation, also confirmed to BHN, a Tuesday morning report in The Athletic that the Bruins were hoping that Tuukka Rask would sign the professional tryout with the Providence Bruins this week. Since then, that same source has told Boston Hockey Now that this PTO with Providence had in fact been a sticking point to getting a contract done but as Puckpedia is clearly hearing, it appears both parties think that’s the best move before the Boston Bruins and Rask once again put ink to paper on a new contract.
As he did last week, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy confirmed that to be the plan for Tuukka Rask as well on Tuesday morning.
“The immediate plan is he’s here; he’s going to practice with us this week,” Cassidy said. ‘He will not travel with us to Tampa or Washington. I think there will be a conversation then, with Donny [Sweeney] about Providence. I think it’s the best opportunity for him to get live-action. So they’ll have that discussion. I know it’s been thrown out there whether it happens or not. …between Tuukka and his reps and Donny, but that would be the timeline if he’s gonna go down there, given everything else is on schedule.
Obviously, it depends on when he is cleared for live-action. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the American League or the NHL, he needs to be cleared. So, that’s the next hurdle for him is clearance to play, but that would be the timeline that they’re all hoping for.”