Prior to dropping the ceremonial puck before his former teammates dominated the New Jersey Devils in a 8-1 rout, recently retired Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask announced that he will serve as a corporate ambassador for the Bruins.
“I’ll be hanging out with sponsors, golfing and shaking hands in suites,” said Tuukka Rask, in a pre-game press conference who announced his retirement on February 9.
Rask, who finished his career as the winningest goalie in team history with 308 wins in 544 games, also didn’t rule out the possibility that he becomes part of the coaching staff in Boston. …or maybe elsewhere.
“I was intrigued about the business side of things anyways. I don’t know what the future holds. Maybe I’ll get into coaching. Maybe not. But for now, I’ll be hanging out with sponsors,” the 35-year-old Rask added.
What was also clear is that Rask has formed a bond with Boston Bruins rookie goaltender Jeremy Swayman. Since news broke on Feb. 8 that Rask would retire during a game in which Swayman allowed three goals on 24 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Swayman has been in a zone. Since then, Swayman has become part of the Calder Trophy conversation and woke up Friday with the fourth-best goals-against average (2.24) in the NHL and a 19-9-3 record with a .920 save percentage.
“I told him right after I retired: Tell me if you need anything,” Rask said in a pre-game press conference. “Just make sure you don’t get too high or too low.”
When discussing why he decided to call it a career, Tuukka Rask even mentioned giving Swayman more playing time as part of the decision, giving he couldn’t perform at 100-percent anymore.
“It was time to be honest with yourself. I could have kept pushing, but what’s the benefit of me playing at 60 percent – kind of taking time off, a week off here, taking two weeks off and kind of taking time off from ‘Sway’…I figured it was more beneficial for everybody to call it,” Rask said. “I had a great career and I have no regrets.”
A few days after Tuukka Rask retired, Swayman praised Rask for being a mentor to him last season and in the short time he was around this season.
“First and foremost, Tuukka’s been a great mentor to me. He had an incredible career so I give tons of kudos to him,” Swayman told reporters on Feb. 12. “It was incredible to be (in a tandem) with him and obviously all the accolades he’s compiled over the years is pretty incredible. Hall of Fame-bound, for sure. And what an incredible mentor. I can’t have enough good things to say about him. That’s all I’m focused on, giving him the kudos. He wants what’s best for the team, so do I and so does everyone in that locker room. Whatever I can do to perform at my best and give the team the best chance to win is what I’m going to do.”
Boston Bruins goalie coach Bob Essensa isn’t going anywhere but it appears he’s got goalie whisperer in Rask if need be.
Here’s the pre-game ceremony the Boston Bruins held for Rask: