Is it only a matter of time before Tuukka asks for a trade?
posted at 10/26/2011 3:34 PM EDT
If there was ever one Bruin who could justify asking for a trade it is Tuukka Rask. Now I realize how good Thomas was last season and he has been solid up until this point this season so this is not about Rask vs Thomas.
But simply looking at it from Rasks' perspective it appears Julien will continue to give the majority of starts to Thomas and continue to use Rask sparingly. Whether you agree with that or not it certainly appears to be the case.
If I am Rask I have to start looking at what is best for my career going forward. He signed a cap friendly deal in the early part of the 2009 season. He ended up playing outstanding that season when Thomas struggled & carried the team to the playoffs while having superb numbers. He also played very well in the playoffs until injuries caught up with the team in the Flyer series. But all in all a great season from a 22 yr old who appeared at that point to have a bright future.
Then after he struggled along with the rest of the team in the first game of last season Thomas took over and had a magical season and understanably Rask played 2nd fiddle.
Now this season,Rask is in the final year of his cap friendly deal & it appears Julien will continue to give Rask minimal starts. Rask was outstanding in the first game he played & did not get rewarded with the next start. I understand JUlien's decision,even if I disagree with it, because Thomas has been so good.
However, it appears no matter how well Rask plays he is destined for backup minutes under CJ & when he struggles (Carolina game) he don't play for a couple of weeks.
So from Rask point of view I am asking myself the following questions:
1)How will playing so little effect his development at such an important part of his career?
2) After signing a 3 yr team friendly contract how is getting so little playing time going to effect his next contract? The more he plays the better opportunity he has to get a significant raise at the end of the season.
3) With the organizations commitment to Tim Thomas will he ever get his shot & what benefit is there to him if that shot doesn't come for the next couple of years?
4) Has this organization been fair to him over the last few seasons when they had such a short leash on him?
My opinion is the Bruins should at least expedite the transition period and give Rask some more playing time. Thomas also deserves playing time but is getting a little long in the tooth. Even it out a little more and allow Rask to get in more of a groove.
It is also in the Bs best interest to see what they have in Rask. The more he plays gives them a better opportunity to judge his talent & see if he can be the future guy. It throws Rask a bone and makes it seem they have a bit more confidence in him then it appears. It also gives an aging Tim Thomas more rest which would make him fresher down the road.
At this point it is extremely difficult to get a proper assessment on what Rask can be when he plays so little. How can he be at his best when he is unable to get in any type of groove and plays so sporadically.
The class that Rask has showed through the last couple of years reflects very well on him. The fact that,at least publically, he hasn't asked out given all the circumstances certainly shows his patience & team player mentality.
But at some point he has to do what is best for his career & if the team continues to stick with Thomas longterm they should give Rask an opportunity somewhere else so he can have the opportunity to play and develop & make as much money as he can.
I understand how good Thomas has played but the team has got to be fair and honest to Rask. If he doesn't get the opportunity with Boston then they should give him the opportunity somewhere else & try and get something in return to strenghten other areas of the club.
I don't want Rask traded but I think it is unfair to him to continue this strictly backup role they have him in. The kid has no room for error even though he has not been given an opportunity to get in a groove since 2009. And we all know the groove he got in that season. The kid has paid his dues.
It even appears that the GM is a little surprised at the goalie use to this point & may have hoped for more of a split looking to the future but apparently CJ sees it differently. http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/bruins/articles/2011/10/26/chiarelli_showing_patience_with_bruins/