Odd that I would call it a rumor since it was my tweet that sent Twitter into a frenzy yesterday. I just couldn’t come up with a better title.
An acquaintance very close to the situation informed me that the Bruins and Tuukka Rask have reached an agreement in principle on his expected and obvious return to the Bruins. When I asked if it was in confidence or if I could tweet it, he said “go ahead, it (the signing) was inevitable.”
Now it all comes down to timing. There is no benefit to the Bruins to put ink to the deal today. They need to hold off as long as possible in order to get the best possible cap relief. For Rask, it’s costing him money, but he has made it very clear since the offseason that it isn’t about the money.
If the two sides had inked the deal right away, it would only eat away at valuable cap space while Rask continues on his path to get into shape. It would also eat away at the over $10 million in deadline cap space the Bruins have accumulated for trade deadline day.
The Bruins have indicated a couple of times that Rask getting some time in Providence to get some reps in is a real possibility. To do that, the Bruins will need to get him under contract.
One possibility is a Professional Tryout deal or a PTO, (I’ll admit, I should probably check out the CBA before I suggest that but there is a precedent there) and that will at least keep his contract from effecting the Bruins cap situation as it won’t be an NHL contract. And when he’s ready, they can ink him to his NHL deal.
As of today, the Bruins can add an AAV of almost $3.5 million. That is the Average Annual Value and not the prorated amount. In other words, they could sign Rask to a two-year $7 million deal that will carry an AAV of $3.5 million and be cap compliant this year (not that this is the deal he will sign).
Some on Twitter (after my report) stated the deal was going to be signed yesterday. Others said it will be signed in the coming days. Fact of the matter is that this deal won’t be signed until he’s ready to step onto the ice for game action.
But it will be signed.