Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has officially announced his retirement from the NHL.
The longtime keeper released a lengthy statement on social media on Wednesday, calling it a career after 15 seasons. The news comes a day after rumors began circulating that Rask was considering hanging up his skates after a brief comeback attempt last month.
The 34-year-old was an unrestricted free agent over the summer when he opted to undergo hip surgery to support a possible return to play. Rask was able to start skating again in November and he signed a one-year, $1 million deal with Boston on January 11.
He supported the Bruins in a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on his season debut and has not publicly admitted to feeling any physical discomfort afterwards. The grind of another NHL campaign quickly seemed to take its toll, however. Rask was pulled from his next start after allowing five goals on 12 shots for the Carolina Hurricanes, but picked up another win over the Winnipeg Jets.
Rask’s situation started to deteriorate again from there, and he transitioned to a backup role behind Linus Ullmark before being dropped from the roster entirely before the NHL All-Star break. The Bruins were hoping that with some rest, Rask could still be up to the job to help them in the second half.
As Rask himself explained in Wednesday’s release, it just wasn’t meant to be.
“Today is a day that I hoped would never come,” Rask wrote. “But now that it’s here, I feel like I owe it to everyone to hear it from me. When I made the decision to have hip surgery last summer, I did it in knowing that the road to recovery would be difficult. I also knew it was something I had to do if I was to give myself a chance to play my best hockey again. The rehab, the practices, the practices – it was all with plan to get back to where I needed to be to help my teammates win games and make another Stanley Cup run. Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized that my body isn’t reacting the way it should to that I am playing at the level I expected and that my teammates and Bruins fans deserve it, so it is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from hockey.
Originally drafted by Toronto 21st overall in the 2005 entry draft, Rask was traded to Boston before even dressing for the Leafs and made his NHL debut for the Bruins in November 2007. When he headed into unrestricted free agency last July, Rask was clear that once his medical condition was cleared up, he would not consider signing anywhere else; it was boston or bust.
Rask now leaves the game as a Stanley Cup champion in 2011, a Vezina Trophy winner in 2014 and with a record of 306-163-66 in 560 career appearances.
“While I’m sad to say goodbye to the game I love, I’m so grateful to have shared the past 15 years with the greatest teammates and fans of the best sports city in the world,” Rask added in his post. communicated. “We’ve shared so many special memories over the years – bringing the Cup back to Boston in 2011, our runs to the finals in 2013 and 2019, playing overseas in the Czech Republic, Northern Ireland and China, and many Of course the Winter Classics I am also very grateful to have been able to represent Finland on the world stage and to win a bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics.
“While those experiences were all amazing, what I will remember most from each of them is the bond I had with my teammates, coaches and team staff, the memories we will always have and friendships that will last a lifetime.
“Through all the ups and downs, I’m so grateful for all the support this team and the people of Boston have given me. I’m going to miss everything that comes with representing the Boston Bruins. But now, I am excited to spend more time with my family and friends who have never stopped supporting my dream. Boston is special for so many reasons and will always be our adoptive home. We look forward to being part of this amazing community. .
“I especially want to thank the Jacobs family, Cam Neely, Don Sweeney, my coaches, equipment staff and the rest of the team support staff for all they have done for me throughout. my time with the Bruins organization I never wanted to play for any other team I’m so proud to have worn the Spoked-B my entire career and I wouldn’t want it to either otherwise.
Jeremy Swayman, who started the season with the Bruins before being sent to the American Hockey League when Rask was activated, will team up with Ullmark as the Bruins fight for a playoff position in the AHL Conference. East. Ullmark has 16 wins this season and Swayman has eight.