When I first heard about this deal, it didn't make any sense. The Bruins signed Tuukka Rask to a 1 year deal worth $3.5 million. The price was right for the B's, but why not sign him for a longer term?
The more I thought, though, the more it made sense.
The Bruins are carrying around $5 million in dead cap money thanks to Tim Thomas' departure. So they aren't able to pay Rask very much. And thanks to the dumb way the NHL cap is set up, they can't avoid this by deferring money to the back-end of the contract. The NHL cap takes total salary, divides by total years, and that's the cap number. Its simplicity only makes things more complicated and stupid.
So when Thomas' contract is off the books, the Bruins will be more able to sign Rask to a legitimate deal.
And this signing makes sense for Rask, too. Was he going to get more than $3.5 million on the open market? I don't think so. He's shown his talent, obviously, but he only started 22 games this past season. In many respects, he's just a step above a rookie.
And young, unproven goaltenders don't get long-term deals for big money in the NHL.
This way, Rask can start in 2012-13, try to play well, and earn a much larger, much longer contract. He's only 25, so he has time to wait for that big payday. And if he does well this year, he'll get it.
He may have gotten a little bit more than a $3.5 million, 1 year deal in the open market. But by playing a full season as a starter, he gives himself a chance to get much much more.
And for the Bruins, they're not overly burdened by his cap hit. And if Rask doesn't work out, he's a restricted free agent in a year and they can part ways.