Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tuukka Rask Gets Paid, But I Don't Like the Contract

Two Us, two Ks, $56 million, eight years, too much, too long. It's going to be Tuukka Time in Boston until 2020-21. This deal makes him the highest paid goalie in the National Hockey League.

I like the player, I don't like the deal. If Rask had gone out on the open market who was going to sign him to such a massive contract? Who was going to sign him for so long? I could see either/or, either pay him big money now but keep the deal 5 years or under. Or pay him less over a long term.

I think eight years is too long for a goalie who doesn't have an extensive track record. Rask has talent, and I want him to be the goaltender here, but he's only made 126 starts. This contract will keep him here for 656 games.

I think $7 million is too much for a player with mixed success in the playoffs. His regular season numbers are very good, and overall his playoff numbers are good. He's had some great playoff series. And he's had a very bad playoff series against Philly in 2010. And he had a mediocre series against the Blackhawks.

The Bruins have decided that Tuukka Rask will be the central reason for their success. Or failure. This team will now be forced to build around Rask. And I don't think he's earned that place. The amount of cap space they will use to pay him, for 8 years, is too much. He's a very good goalie, and on a team with more offensive talent he could win a Cup. But it's harder to acquire/keep that talent with such a huge cap hit. And in 2 years the Bruins are going to need to spend to either retain or rebuild their blue-line (Seidenberg has 1 year left, McQuaid has 2, Krug and Bartkowski are restricted free agents in a year, Hamilton in 2).

Rask is good enough to win, with help. He's not a carrier like Thomas was in '11, like Quick was in '12. He's more like Niemi in 2010, or a better version of Crawford this year. The Bruins are paying him like a carrier. And he hasn't yet played like a carrier in the playoffs.

Corey Crawford will make $2.7 million next year. The Blackhawks won a Cup because he was okay and his teammates were great. Jonathan Quick carried the Kings to a Cup and he makes $5.8 million, and will do so until 2023. Rask hasn't won a Cup as a starter, played only okay in the Cup Finals, and he's getting paid like a Conn Smythe winner. Why?

What has Rask done to merit the highest annual salary for a goalie (tied with Pekka Rinne) in the League, along with a contract nearly a decade long?

I'm happy he's the goalie in 2013-14. I'm not thrilled he'll be under contract in 2019. I'm not thrilled he'll be taking up so much cap space.

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