NHL Goalie Rumors – March 28, 2017

by | Mar 28, 2017 | Rumors | 34 comments

Should the Boston Bruins consider moving Tuukka Rask this summer?

Latest on Tuukka Rask, Ryan Miller, Peter Budaj, Antti Niemi and Philipp Grubauer in your NHL rumor mill. 

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty recently noted that “Boston’s franchise goaltender and $7 million man Tuukka Rask couldn’t physically answer the bell for one of the biggest games of the year,” sitting out last Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders with a lower-body injury. Noting Rask’s recent struggles leading up to that game, Haggerty suggested ” there’s a real issue developing with Rask and how much trust the Bruins can have in him when the games matter most.” He pointed out the goaltender won’t have full no-trade protection when this season ends and suggested it might be time for the Bruins to consider other options between the pipes this summer. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rather that try to dump Rask for a better option, perhaps the Bruins would be better off finding a more reliable backup. Rask’s had to carry a heavy workload over the last three seasons behind a defense corps that’s thinner in talent than it used to be. Besides, I don’t think there’s better options out there this summer for the Bruins, and shedding Rask’s $7 million annual cap hit (which runs through 2020-21 and comes with a modified no-trade clause starting this July) could be a tough sell if the salary cap fails to significantly rise this summer. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Jason Botchford recently noted the solid play of Canucks goalie Ryan Miller in the second half of this season and Jacob Markstrom’s struggles over the same period. He suggested it’s created a situation where the Canucks need to bring Miller back on a one-year contract. Botchford believes there won’t be many options via free agency for Miller, who turns 37 later this year. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks could consider other options via trade or the free-agent market. Scott Darling could be a better UFA option, while Antti Raanta of the NY Rangers and Philipp Grubauer of the Washington Capitals could be trade candidates in June. Still, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Canucks re-sign Miller to a one-year, $4 million contract.

TAMPA BAY TIMES: Joe Smith recently suggested goaltender Peter Budaj’s future with the Lightning could last beyond this season. Smith feels Budaj is a good fit as Andrei Vasilevskiy’s backup and the remainder of this season could be an audition for the veteran netminder to earn a new contract with the Bolts. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’ll depend upon Budaj’s asking price for his next contract. His solid play this season will earn him a significant raise over his current one-year $600K deal. The Bolts have limited cap space for next season and must re-sign Tyler Johnson, Jonathan Drouin and Ondrej Palat plus they must acquire a top-four defenseman. Still, if Budaj seeks a reasonable contract, the Bolts could keep him. 

THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: During a recent live chat, Mike Heika speculated that the reason the Stars are playing Kari Lehtonen more frequently is they’ve lost faith in Antti NIemi. He felt they might want to see if Lehtonen is worth keeping beyond this season. A lot will depend upon whether they acquire a goalie before the buyout window closes on June 30. He’s guessing they’ll buy out Niemi for sure. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars could protect Lehtonen in the expansion draft and hope the Vegas Golden Knights select Niemi in the expansion draft. Should the Stars buy out Niemi, the annual cap hit will be $1.5 million for the next two seasons. I doubt he’ll attract much interest in the trade market. 

WASHINGTON POST: Isabelle Khurshudyan reports Capitals backup goalie Philipp Grubauer has heard the speculation he could be selected in this summer’s expansion draft by the Vegas Golden Knights. For now, he’s keeping his focus on this season. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Grubauer was selected by the Capitals in 2010, when Golden Knights general manager George McPhee was Washington’s GM. As the Caps will obviously protect Braden Holtby, I expect Grubauer to be snapped up by the Golden Knights in June. 


  1. All you have to do is look at Cam Talbot. Reasonable priced pick up. I believe Edmonton would be nowhere without him in net…… Raanta and Darling are cut from the same cloth and could very likely provide a team with the same results. They would be my focus and not the big names bantered ….I watched Duchene last night- Brutal. No confidence. Definitely not an elite player and at this rate is getting nothing near the rumoured asking price.

    • And where would Ottawa be without the Condon pick-up? Competent back-ups are every bit as important to a team’s success over 82 games as are the # 1 goalies.

      • Here’s hoping McElhinney proves to be close to the same.

    • Agreed. I was actually hoping Edmonton would go after Raanta b4 they picked up Talbot. Not that Talbot has disappointed and I’m certainly glad he’s an Oiler but I think Raanta could definitely come in and take over the #1 role for a team like Dallas.

  2. The pitch fork and torch mentality of some of the Bruins media and fans remind me of the last few years under Nonis in Toronto. Not sure what the issue is with a goalie who just turned 30 has a career .922 sv% played over 400 games played won over 200 games (including playoffs) a Vezna and a Stanley cup…but ya let’s trade him because
    “there’s a real issue developing with Rask and how much trust the Bruins can have in him when the games matter most.”
    Crazy talk. I understand wanting to rebuild maybe changing some things around but that’s just plain insulting.

    • If Boston would like to revisit the Rask acquisition I’m sure they could sign Justin Pogge pretty reasonably. I believe he is sharpening skates at sport check right now…

      • The year they lost to the Hawks in the final he was unbelievable but ya he doesn’t show up for big games I guess. lol not that I as a Leaf fan would mind too much if the Bruins traded Rask.

    • Shticky for me its not a pitch fork, I’ve been asking for Rask to be gone for a few season now. To start $7m is to much for a starting goaltender. Lets not forget last year last game Bruins win and their in; Rask couldn’t play that day and the Bruins loss. This year Cassidy said he need to be better, Rask sick the next day then can’t play against the Islanders, A win Boston needed desperately. Now if you want to take all that and say well things happen, then fine. Rask came within two wins of the Stanley Cup but folded with two goals less then 2 minutes left in game 6. Still not his fault, well actually the winning goal was his fault. Still not the reason for me, my reason is quite simple; He can’t beat Montreal, the bruins have to rely on someone to do that for them to get out of the division. Rask home record against Montreal is 1-12 that’s not a typo, ONE win in 13 starts on home ice against Montreal, I will point out that 3 of the loses were in a shootout so if you want I could put it 1-9-3 and that win was the last time they played Montreal this season. This season he is 0-3 against Toronto and 0-4 against Ottawa. Give credit to them teams put he’s got to be able to come up with some wins at key times and he doesn’t. Boston has 7 games left 6 of them on home ice, Rask will play in 6 of the 7 games barring any illness or injury. With 6 home games left and supposedly elite goaltender who is making $7m per season and already holding the last playoff spot, there should be no doubt that Boston makes the playoffs. It all starts tonight against Nashville who will be playing on back to back nights. Not a Rask fan, but hope he can steal a couple of wins down the stretch here or the season is over.

      • In July of 2013 when Rask signed that contract, the Canadian dollar was at 96 cents & we were in a run away cap world. All elite goalies were getting those monies. Hell even a year later Toews & Kane both signed for 10.5 & the dollar was still at 93 cents. The collapse of the dollar started in Oct of 2014 & it has been significant especially on the only major professional sport that really functions in both Canada & the US.

      • Unbelievable!! Terrible post no merit just blabber get it u dont like rask but hes not the problem no point making rebuttles u r too far gone

      • Malcoms father. Can’t follow who your post is directed at.

        George. The NHL must be praying such doesn’t happen. It is very possible for a range of reasons 2 of which the article addresses well. Interest rates & oil prices. The vast majority of accredited sources have us with a 67 cent dollar. Timeline vary but lower prices are coming baring a significant change in the global economy. None of NA major sports leagues, MLB, NFL, NBA are impacted the same way the NHL is. If it happens the cap will be declining in the future & we need not worry about minor increases but declines in the cap & escrow increasing substantially.

    • You know I’m not on that list Shticky. Boston is in a transitional rebuild, the D is suspect. Rask is fine. Help is coming. Although it would make Caper & others happy.

      Haggarty’s whole stick is creating controversy. Sensationalism to generate outrage to get follow ship. So outlandish it works for some.

      • Rask is Fine!? Rose color glasses there Striker. Really don’t care about what the dollar is or will be any GM in the NHL is fully aware of the Canadian Dollar, that was simply irresponsible spending by PC, just like his Krecji contract. Personally I don’t run my business on a hope and a prayer. “Well I can pay you and extra $3M because the Canadian Dollar is strong right now and we hope its going to stay that way for the next 7yrs, you know if that happens then the salary cap will rise and we’ll be fine.” That my friend is not solid management of assets, that’s how you turn an asset into a liability.

      • Ya not saying I love the contract but I don’t think there is a need to be quite so insulting is all. With what he has in front of him the past few years, there could be bigger issues than Rask. As I said I could understand moving him for a number of reasons (draft picks, rebuild, get younger, cheaper, tanking) but to blame him seems extreme. He’s been good, don’t need the doesn’t show up for big games crap, judging by some of his numbers there would be less “big games” with out him than with him. Ask teams like Dallas Philly or Toronto about goalies who don’t show up when it counts. They don’t look like Rask.

      • Then PC had about 25 other GM’s with him. The NHL warned teams that the Canadian dollar was in peril. Few listened. PC paid market value for these players at point of signing based on the market conditions at that time. Hoping the Canadian dollar could maintain it’s perch was unrealistic. We were advising our clients of a serious correction since October of 2012 for numerous reasons. We stated downward slid starting in the summer of 2014, we were off by almost 9 months but knew it was coming. Unfortunately most NHL GM’s live for today.

        Over 2/3rds of the NHL is with in 1.5 million of spending to the cap as we speak, not accounting for potential bonus monies to players on ELC’s or 1 year 35+ contracts which aren’t tallied until the season is over & if pushing a team over the cap carry forward.

        I don’t own rose colored glasses. If anything I’m a pessimist, a realist at best. Boston isn’t a very good team at present, they are middle of the pack in the entire NHL but portion of such, but help is coming. A ton of youth is playing key positions more are coming.

        I didn’t have them making the playoffs so the fact they are still battling for a sport is solid.

        As you should know & I have stated numerous time I don’t pay any goalie over 5 mil per & even then 5 years max.

      • Sorry should read botton portion of such. Bottom missing.

      • Krejci is coming off major hip surgery. An injury & procedure that takes a full year to recover from but is about to have a career year for goals & putting up solid points & face off #’s. A solid 1B option. Having just turned 30 on April 28th I wait until his modified NTC kicks in 2019-20 before looking at what market may exist for him.

        Would I like Krejci & Rask at less money & term yes but accept that coming out of their deals shortly after a cup win in that market that was the cost. Boston doesn’t have cap issues. The only 2 players of consequence to be signed are Spooner & Pastrnak.

        I’m a firm believer in bridge contracts. Pastrnak should be forced to sign a deal similiar to Kucherov.

        Spooner isn’t coming off his ELC but does have arbitration rights. He’s getting a raise, a significant 1 but it won’t break the bank. 3.5 to 4 mil, Rask, Rackell type monies I assume.

      • Well, count Ottawa in that 1/3 of the teams who used their heads when it came to spending to the cap, Say what you like about Melnyk but he didn’t get to become a multi-millionaire by being stupid, but when he insisted his GMs leave a good chunk of wiggle room each year, they got painted with the “budget team” tag – as if it was some kind of back-handed “they’re just poor-boys” insult. Anaheim has also always left themselves some room – for much the same reason.

        The lower $ will not only adversely affect Canadian franchise income (except the Leafs, of course, who will simply raise the price of tickets again without so much as a whimper from the fan base), but the U.S. based clubs will be facing a stagnant or even lowered cap, especially if the $ dips to .65 cents.

      • Caper. I get your position. You would like to see some fundamental changes. I like where they are at. We agree on the monies & term but I accept the realities of when they were signed & market conditions at that time. You want to look at it in today’s cap world & feel PC should have seen the future. I don’t completely disagree with you but the NHL is all about comparisons.

        Kopitar just got Toews, Kane monies in this cap world. That contract looks brutal today as do a great many others. Thankfully another lockout will help to continue to balance out the playing field between the NHl & NHLPA. Unfortunately we are still about 3 CBA’s away from correcting most of what ails the NHL’s business model

        The future looks bright in Boston. The prospect pipeline has been rebuilt in the blink of an eye the leadership foundation is in place to help mentor & develop such & the core really isn’t old. Backes being the oldest at 32.

      • I believe MF comments r directed at me Striker. No I’m not to far gone, but I’m a realistic that can look at the team I follow and be objective about my views. No rebuttal because u don’t have one. Rask has the worst sv% of any goalie that’s has a minimum of 5 start in the month of March. His work load is high but not the highest. Ill never understand fans who think their player on their team is the best and wouldn’t trade them for the world. If u want to debate, then debate but don’t tell me I’m wrong and back it up with nothing.
        Striker why is it BS when I say Rask doesn’t show up for the big one or can’t win it? TB loss falls squarely on his shoulders the third goal was weak and the 4th goal was worst. That was a winnable game and he let in 2 soft goals. Now tonight is a new game, he got lots of rest and hopefully I can sing his praises tomorrow.

      • The issue with Rask is that he is paid like an elite goaltender and is not playing like one. Last year save % 915. This year 910. Not only is that not elite, it is below average.
        D corp is not what it used to be and may be a contributing factor. As is the fact he doesn’t seem to be able to handle a heavy workload. Since the start of 2017 his save % has been brutal as they road him hard, because they had to.
        The flu seems to happen at the wrong times? Not ready to buy into a theory that he is doing it on purpose just yet, but some big wins this year will put that conspiracy to rest. The Montreal stat is mind boggling though.
        As discussed by all, with where the Bruins are in the standings, and future development, it is a difficult call as to what to do with Rask, as some other high paid veterans. As I have mentioned before I am in the shake it up and start the rebuild early camp as I can’t see them contending for a cup for a few years.
        But I do get why they don’t when you have Bergeron, Marchand, etc in your lineup.

    • Yea but we are talking Haggety here.

      • The only time & space I address Haggarty. I don’t read him, nor listen to him.

    • Very good goalie but their is a pattern

      Flu like symptons misses Olympic Semifinal only to play great the next day in the Bronze medal game
      Last year misses last game of seasons win and your in game vs Sens
      The other night a no go again, more troubling is he’s been very avg of late and after the Tampa game he takes no responsibility when he doesn’t play well

      • And he just didn’t lose that last game of the season to the Sens at home, which prevented them from qualifying for the playoffs, they were hammered 6-1 by a team whose bags were already packed for summer holidays.

  3. The Canucks have Demko in Utica who’s been nothing short of stellar. Giving Miller a one year deal, then bringing up Demko in a year, should and probably is the Canucks plan moving forward.

  4. Rask didn’t sit because of injury. He just Tuukka rest.

    • Ha-ha! Well done.

    • Now THAT is classic Frank!

    • well played sir!

      To keep the theme going:
      What is Forest Gump’s email password?

    • Thanks guys. I’m sure that someone, somewhere must have a much funnier goaltender story about Pekka Rinne.

  5. Vegas should ask BOS about Rask’s availability….it will help them stay above the cap floor and is a goalie to build a franchise around….

  6. Rask isn’t playing up to what he is paid.
    But six weeks ago we were saying where would we be without him. As the backups were losing every game.
    I still believe in him. He’s playing in front of a top pairing tandem of a 40 year old and a 1st year starter. The rest of the defense is mediocre at best.
    I wouldn’t be against moving him if a decent return came back.
    Haggs is unreliable. Don’t know what was wrong with Rask. I doubt he just said I don’t want to play.