People forget how long eight years really is because a lot can happen between now and eight years from now. For example, our nation could have had two different presidents during eight years, a nation could fall during that time period, and athletes could begin to break down mentally and physically. The Bruins thought that eight years was just right for their guy in net, Tuukka Rask, as he has inked an eight year deal with club worth around $56 million. The front office didn’t stop at Rask though, as they inked an eight year deal worth $52 million with Patrice Bergeron. There is no question that these two guys are top-tier players, but we need to take a closer look at whether or not it was smart to tack on that many years to both of their contracts.
Patrice Bergeron had already been pondering whether or not he wanted to be a bruin for life, and he finally came to the conclusion that Boston is the only place he wants to call home. “We love the organization, we also love the city. It really feels like home, and we don’t want to go anywhere else. So, honestly this was an easy decision for me and my family.” Pretty strong words from Bergeron, but most of Bruins nation will be pleased with that response. For those that don’t understand just how important Bergeron is to the Bruins, read what Peter Chiarellie had to say about the matter; “Were obviously very happy to get him signed! He embodies a lot of what the Bruins stand for. He’s a responsible player, he’s a hard player. He’s a leader, he’s a clutch player, and he’s just got a classic way of carrying himself that I like to be part of, and the Bruins like to be a part of.” Once again those are very strong words concerning Bergeron, and it seems this is exactly what the franchise wanted. Bergeron will be thirty-six by the end of this contract, which means that the B’s will probably be the only franchise he will play for. For somebody like Bergeron, I completely understand why they gave him such a long extension. This guy played game six of the Stanley Cup Finals with a rib injury, torn cartilage, separated shoulder, and a whole in his lung, which means that he is the perfect player for the B’s when it comes to toughness. Bergeron will be a force for a longtime in this league, and Bruins nation is very happy it will all be done in a Bruins uniform. The only problem with this is his concussion history though, which could potentially be a problem (much like what happened to Sidney Crosby), but for now it was a great signing.
Tuukka Rask for most people is a different story, just because of his short tenure with this B’s, and his track record. Before this season started, the only recollection Bruin fans had of Rask was surrendering a 3-0 series lead to the Philadelphia Flyers, which was just devastating. Now Rask is in the neighborhood with Pekka Rinne, as the two of them are the highest cap hits for goaltenders in the NHL. It will always be a big risk when a franchise gives a goaltender a bunch of years, especially how streaky goaltenders tend to be. In Rask defense, he is very young (still 24), so the eight years isn’t a problem in the age department. The problem starts with Rask and his overall play throughout a “whole season.” Rask already lost his starting job once when Tim Thomas came to town. It will be very interesting to see how Rask will hold up over these next eight years. I think most believe that he will be just fine, especially if he continues his stellar play from the playoffs. Overall this past season, Rask went 19-10-05 with a GAA of 2.00 and a .929 save percentage, with five shutouts while in the regular season. During the playoffs, his save percentage jumped to .940, and his GAA dropped to 1.88. While playing the Pittsburg Penguins, Rask only allowed two goals, in four games. Rask will be in his early thirties by the end of the contract, and hopefully by then he will have a couple of Stanley Cup Championship to add to his list.