It's Tuukka Time... in the AHL tomorrow night. Tuukka Rask has signed a PTO with the Providence Bruins and is expected to start in net Friday night against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Tuukka has been rehabbing with the Bruins/Warrior Ice Arena pretty much since undergoing hip surgery at the conclusion of last season.
The most likely scenario if and when Rask signs with the big club would be sending Jeremy Swayman to Providence since he doesn't need waivers. Which would be unfortunate for him, but neither him or Ullmark have really taken a stronghold of the net this season (although they have been playing better as of late). You could argue Swayman has certainly outplayed Ullmark this season but Linus has no-move protection (I wonder if he'd be willing to waive it to go to Edmonton because they need HELP). I think reps in Providence will do Swayman some good as frustrating as it is.
The other side of the coin is the schedule - B's are going to be playing a tonnnnn of games down the stretch. You might need 3 goalies in that scenario. Tuukka isn't gonna cost a ton of money, he previously said he'd play for $250k and tons of Bud Light. Would have to move some pieces out (Jake DeBrusk, etc) if they wanted to roll three goalies on their roster, but the taxi squad is now an option as well.
So, how has Rask looked since joining the Bruins for some practices?
"He certainly looks the part out there right now. He’s come along very well. You’re never sure with surgery, how it will go... complications, etc, he got through it. But the work and I’ve seen him in the gym every morning here. So clearly he’s taken it seriously and wants to rehab as quickly as possible."
Good news for a 34 year old coming off surgery. It's one of the reasons why the B's signed Linus Ullmark long term in the offseason in the first place. They didn't want to put all of their eggs in Rask's basket in case rehab didn't go well. Luckily everything has gone smooth and now it's time to see him get some game action tomorrow night.
Hide your milk crates, Tuukka Rask is back.