Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask announced Saturday he is opting out of the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs, leaving the team just before their scheduled Game 3 of the quarterfinals.
“I want to be with my teammates competing, but at this moment there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that’s being with my family,” Rask, 33, said. “I want to thank the Bruins and my teammates for their support and wish them success.”
The official announcement came less than two hours before the Bruins were set to play the Carolina Hurricanes in a series tied 1-1. Jaroslav Halak is expected to start in goal throughout the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Bruins had a hint that Rask might leave the NHL bubble in Toronto.
“We understand completely where Tuukka is coming from,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said, per NHL.com. “I don’t think it’s any big surprise to us, to be honest. We were privy to some information before the rest of the public. This has been a difficult decision for Tuukka. But the Boston Bruins are in full support of why he made this decision.”
Family was behind the decision, Sweeney confirmed.
“His family is safe and healthy,” Sweeney said, per NHL.com. “But with a newborn and two other young girls it’s been challenging. It’s nothing specific. Fortunately, his family is healthy. To have their dad back to be around on a regular basis is exactly what Tuukka needs to do at this point in time.”
Rask has been with the Bruins organization since June 2006 and made his NHL debut in 2007. He was a first-round draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2005.
Rask’s career record in the NHL is 291-158-64 with 50 shutouts. He holds a 52-42 all-time playoff record.
This season, Rask was 26-8-6 with a .929 save percentage and 2.12 goals-against average. Halak, 35, was 18-6-6 with a .919 save percentage and 2.39 GAA on the regular season.
--Field Level Media
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