Tuukka Rask

Report: ‘Starting point’ for Rask’s new deal is six years, $39 million


Last summer, the Boston Bruins signed Tuukka Rask to a one-year, $3.5 million extension — a “prove-it deal” designed for the Finnish netminder to show he was capable of carrying the No. 1 gig.

Well, Rask proved it.

And now he wants to get paid.

According to CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, the starting point for Rask’s extension negotiations with Boston is for $39 million over six years — an average annual cap hit of $6.5 million.

In terms of cap hit, the deal would tie Rask with Carolina’s Cam Ward for the third highest among active goalies.

The only ones earning more annually are Nashville’s Pekka Rinne ($7 million per) and New York’s Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875 million per).

Rask holds plenty of clout following a banner 2013 campaign.

He’s only 26, and coming off a year in which he went 19-10-5 during the regular season with a .929 save percentage and 2.00 GAA, then got even better in the playoffs, going 14-8 with a .940 save percentage and 1.88 GAA.

What’s more, Bruins don’t really have another option.

Anton Khudobin was a serviceable backup last season, though few figure he’s capable of handling an NHL starting gig. Malcolm Subban, taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, is years away from being able to compete for the job.

(UPDATE: This section should also include mention of Niklas Svedberg, the 23-year-old Providence product that won AHL goalie of the year for 2012-13.)

So, Rask is coming back. The question is at what price.

Boston is tight up against the cap — just $5.8 million in space with 18 players signed — but will essentially do whatever it takes to retain Rask, who may have been the club’s MVP this season.

What a hefty price tag could mean, however, is less money to offer pending UFA Nathan Horton.

The B’s also need to start looking toward an extension for Patrice Bergeron — a UFA following 2013-14 — and what they plan to do with Dennis Seidenberg, who also goes unrestricted next summer.

High-flying Bruins (sounds weird to say) beat Rangers for fifth straight win


Somebody tell the Boston Bruins there’s a goal-scoring crisis in the NHL.

This afternoon, for the 14th time this season, a Bruins game featured at least six goals. The final score was 4-3, as Boston came back to beat the Rangers in a wildly entertaining Thanksgiving Showdown on NBC.

David Krejci scored the winner with 1:43 remaining. Krejci’s goal came just 2:03 after teammate Ryan Spooner had tied it on the power play.

The win was the Bruins’ fifth straight. Though the defensive mistakes remain…

…Claude Julien’s troops have been finding ways to overcome them.

The running and gunning Boston Bruins.

When was the last time you could call them that?

Goalie nods: Prized Jets prospect Hellebuyck makes NHL debut

Joshua Morrissey, Jason Pominville, Connor Hellebuyck
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The future of Winnipeg’s goaltending will be on display tonight in Minnesota.

Connor Hellebuyck, the highly-touted prospect that starred for Team USA at the 2015 World Hockey Championships, will make his NHL debut today when the Jets take on the Wild at Xcel.

Hellebuyck is up with the Jets following an injury to No. 1 (or, “No. 1”) netminder Ondrej Pavelec, who’s out until January with a lower-body injury. An AHL All-Star a year ago, Hellebuyck arrived in Winnipeg with great fanfare and it’ll be interesting to see how he responds to the hype and pressure that come along with his first-ever big league start.

For the Wild, Devan Dubnyk‘s in goal.


Corey Crawford goes for Chicago in Anaheim. No word yet on who the Ducks will have in goal.

Braden Holtby starts again for Washington, as the Caps host the Bolts. Tampa Bay has yet to name a starter, much like the Ducks.

Marc-Andre Fleury takes on Sergei Bobrovsky in Columbus tonight, as the Blue Jackets host the Penguins.

Mike Condon is back in the starter’s role for Montreal with Carey Price sidelined, and his first order of business is a road date against Cory Schneider and the Devils in New Jersey.

Cam Ward faces Chad Johnson as Buffalo welcomes the ‘Canes.

— The Isles will start Jaroslav Halak in Florida. The Panthers will counter with Roberto Luongo.

Cam Talbot finally gets back into the starter’s role tonight in Detroit. Jimmy Howard will go for the Wings.

— It’s Ryan Miller versus Antti Niemi as the Canucks take on the Stars in Dallas.

— Even though Jonas Hiller is healthy and Joni Ortio‘s in the minors, Calgary will stick with Karri Ramo in Arizona. The Coyotes are going with their No. 1, Mike Smith.

‘We’re still right in the hunt for everything’ — Parise will play tonight versus Jets

Zach Parise
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For the first time since Nov. 5, Zach Parise will suit up for the Minnesota Wild.

The team confirmed today that Parise will be in the lineup tonight at home versus Winnipeg. The 31-year-old forward has missed the last eight contests with a sprained MCL.

The Wild were 7-2-2 before Parise got hurt. They lost the game against Nashville in which he suffered the injury, then went 4-3-1 without him.

“I’m just hoping to get back to form as quick as possible and go from there,” Parise told the Star Tribune. “I’m not thinking I need to score right out of the gate, I just want to play. … We’re still right in the hunt for everything. We’ll be fine.”

After ’embarrassing’ loss to Sens, Stars motivated for Canucks

Milan Michalek, Antti Niemi
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The Vancouver Canucks will face a pretty motivated Dallas Stars team tonight at American Airlines Center.

Blame the Ottawa Senators. They were the ones who smoked the Stars, 7-4, on Tuesday.

“It brings you back down to earth,” captain Jamie Benn told the Stars’ website. “You learn that any team can come in here and whip your butt. It was embarrassing for us, especially in our home rink and in front of our home fans. We don’t want that to happen again.”

The Stars have had their way with the Canucks in recent years. The last time Vancouver won in Dallas was Feb. 21, 2013. Since then, victories have included scorelines like 5-1, 4-1, 6-1, and 6-3.

The Stars have already hosted the Canucks once in Dallas this season. On Oct. 29, they fought back from a 3-1 third-period deficit to win, 4-3, in overtime.

Dallas (17-5-0) has yet to lose consecutive games this season.