Tuukka Rask has announced his retirement after a 560-game, 15-season NHL career with the Boston Bruins.
The 35-year-old goaltender was attempting a comeback from off-season surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip and played four games before deciding to hang up his skates for good.
In a letter posted on Twitter, Rask explained that his body was not responding how he wished following the surgery and that he could not get to the level of play that he used to be able to reach.
“When I made the decision to have surgery on my hip last summer, I did so knowing that the road to recovery would be challenging,” said Rask in his statement. “I also knew it was something I would have to do if I wanted to give myself a chance to play my best hockey again. The rehab, the workouts, the practices — all of it was with the intention of getting back to where I needed to be to help my teammates win games and make another run at a Stanley Cup.”
When he decided to have surgery, Rask was an unrestricted free agent. But he made it clear that if he was healthy enough to play again, he would only sign with the Bruins, otherwise he would retire. Knowing Rask would be out until at least early 2022, the Bruins signed Linus Ullmark to take on the No. 1 job in goal.
Thank you, Tuukka. 👏 pic.twitter.com/SLCBvu7dKr
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 9, 2022
Rask made it back, signing with the Bruins on Jan. 11 and starting in net two days later. But the comeback did not go well. In four games Boston went 2-2-0 and Rask posted an .841 5-on-5 save percentage. On Monday, the team ruled him out for the remainder of this week with a lower-body injury.
A 2005 first-round pick (No. 21 overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rask was dealt to Boston a year later for Andrew Raycroft. He would spend the next few seasons in Finland and in the American Hockey League before taking on a regular role with the Bruins along with Tim Thomas.
Rask finishes his NHL career with 308 wins, 52 shutouts, a Vezina Trophy, a William Jennings Trophy, a First Team NHL All-Star honor, one Stanley Cup ring, and bronze medals representing Finland at the 2006 IIHF World Championship and 2014 Winter Olympics.
“Through all the ups and downs, I am so grateful for all the support this team and the people of Boston have given me,” said Rask. “I will miss everything that comes with representing the Boston Bruins. But now, I’m excited to spend more time with my family and friends who never stopped supporting my dream. Boston is special for so many reasons and will always be our adopted home. We look forward to remaining a part of this amazing community.”