NHL Rumor Mill – March 23, 2020

by | Mar 23, 2020 | Rumors | 30 comments

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask ponders retirement at the end of his current contract, plus a look at several potential compliance buyout candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.


THE SCORE: Brandon Maron reports Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask isn’t ruling out retirement at the end of his current contract. In an interview with the Boston Globe’s Matt Porter, Rask hinted at hanging up his pads when his contract expires in 2021. “I have one year left in the contract, so we’ll see if I even play,” Rask said. “We’ll see. Always a possibility.”

Could Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask retire next year? (Photo via NHL Images)

The 33-year-old netminder ruled out returning to play in his native Finland, citing family reasons. “Just be home. The wear and tear of the travel with two, almost three kids now, makes you think. I love to do it. But it’s tough.” Maron indicates Rask leads the league in goals-against average (2.12) and sits second with a .929 save percentage.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: While that report will likely cause the collective hearts of Bruins fans to skip a beat, Rask isn’t saying for certain that he’s packing it in after next season. It could just be some early posturing on his part to perhaps encourage Bruins management to open contract extension talks following the end of this season, whenever that might be.

Nevertheless, it’s an indication that Rask re-signing with Boston isn’t a sure thing. If he does retire, the Bruins will be scrambling to find a suitable replacement next year.


EDMONTON JOURNAL: David Staples recently examined which players could receive compliance buyouts if the NHL implements that policy to help cap-strapped club shed salary next season. He cited Sportsnet analyst Brian Burke floating that possibility in a recent interview with Bob Stauffer on Oilers Now: “I’ve heard discussion of compliance buyouts to help teams get to this new cap, to solve some of their problems. Which they gave in the last CBA, each team got two cap-compliance buyouts which were exempt from the cap. I’ve heard talk of that, said Burke.

Staples considers “Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader and Frans Nielson…Andrew Ladd of the New York Islanders, Milan Lucic of the Flames, Kyle Okposo of the Sabres, and Loui Eriksson of Vancouver” as the most obvious possibilities among NHL forwards.

Defensemen could include New Jersey’s P.K. Subban and St. Louis’ Justin Faulk, while Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky, Nashville’s Pekka Rinne, the New York Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist and New Jersey’s Cory Schneider (provided his injury status would allow it) are his likely goalie candidates.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting compilation from Staples. I agree with his assessment of those most likely to receive compliance (amnesty) buyouts.

For now, of course, there’s no certainty the NHL and NHL Players Association will implement that buyout scheme. Much will depend upon whether the league can finish this season and how much of their lost revenue they can recoup.

The two sides could also agree to an artificial cap that could be higher than the current $81.5 million. That would eliminate the need for such buyouts.


  1. Rask may retire as the greatest goalie the Leafs ever drafted – another fine mess to ponder.

    • BC LeafFan :

      Ron Low, 8th rd, 1970
      Dan Follett, 7th rd, 1973
      Mike Palmateer, 5th rd, 1974
      Andy Stoez, 10th rd, 1974
      Ken Holland, 12th rd, 1975
      Bob Parent, 4th rd, 1978
      Vincent Tremblay, 4th rd, 1979
      Ron Dennis, 6th rd, 1980
      Ken Wregget, 3rd rd, 1982
      JimAppleby, 12th rd, 1982
      Allan Bester, 3rd rd, 1983
      Jeff Reese, 4th rd, 1984
      Mitch Murphy, 12th rd, 1985
      Damien Rhoades, 6th rd, 1987
      Peter Ing, 3rd rd, 1988
      Mike Gregario, 11th rd, 1988
      Felix Potvin,2nd rd, 1990
      Robert Hornya, 9th rd, 1990
      Dave Bumbry, 8th rd, 1993
      Eric Fichaud, 1st rd, 1994
      Doug Bonner, 6th rd, 1995
      Francis Larivee, 2nd rd, 1996
      Jamie Hodson, 3rd rd, 1998
      Sergei Rostov, 9th rd, 1998
      Vladimir Kulikov, 7th rd, 1999
      Micheal Tellqvist, 3rd rd, 2000
      J.F.Racine,3rd rd, 2000
      Jan Chovan, 7th rd, 2001
      Todd Ford, 3rd rd, 2003
      Justin Pogge, 3rd rd, 2004
      Tuuka Rask, 1st rd, 2005
      James Reimer, 4th rd, 2006
      Grant Rolheiser 6th rd, 2008
      Garrett Sparks, 7th rd, 2011
      Antoine Bibeau, 6th rd, 2013
      Joeseph Woll, 3rd rd, 2016
      Ian Scott, 4th rd, 2017
      Zachrey Bouthillier, 7th rd, 2018

      Id be inclined to agree, Rask is by far the best goalie the Leafs have ever drafted.

      Palmateer, Wreggett and Potvin are the only others that stand out for mel

      • Boy, that’s depressing, Ron. Still hoping Ian Scott gets a chance to show what he can do.

      • Best goalie Toronto ever had and let go was probably Bernie Parent then Gerry Cheevers

      • The name Bernie Parent has been seared into this Bruins fan’s brain. Broke our hearts in 74 cup finals. Especially game 6 shutout to win it.

      • You know Ray if the Leafs had kept a lot of their players instead of losing them to the WHA it might not have been as long of a drought for us

  2. Justin Faulk?? Regardless of Pietrangelo’s contract status, I do not see Justin Faulk in any way a compliance buyout. It is not Armstrong’s way of doing business.

    • How about a Gardiner for Faulk trade.

      • You think Carolina wants him back?

  3. Florida just signed Bob to a long term contract. Surely, they aren’t blaming him for their blueline weakness.

  4. Bob just signed last summer and now a buyout candidate -wow
    The others I agree with. This situation would help a lot of teams stuck. Erickson Lucic and Okposo lead my list. Forgot about Frans Nielsen. I would also jump at PK with that salary and level of play.
    Any others ?

    • Neal, Suter, Parise, Seabrook, Lundquist and maybe Vlasic?

      • Buying out Parise/Suter would be incredibly expensive & still punishing cap wise for years. And Isles might still pursue Parise? If so, get out from under that contract. Why buy PK out. I know he’s on downside of his career, but he’s still got decent hockey left in him. Maybe not at 9 mil.

      • Vinnie,

        They are talking about amnesty buyouts. Which are totally forgiven against the cap.

      • Price?

    • Benn, Dallas, 9.5 million cap hit , good leader but on the decline , 5 years remaining term.
      Fleury?Vegas, 7 per , he will turn 36 yrs old next saeson…use the cap savings to sign Lehner.
      Turris, Nash, 6 per 4 years remaining
      Wennberg, Columbus, 4.9 , 3 years remaining
      Carter , L.A , 5.272 , 2 years remaining
      Quick, LA , 5.8 , 3 years

      a few players could be considered Seabrooke, Little , Kesler but they will likely end up on LTIR

      • Bobby Ryan – 2 more years at $7,250,000 per

      • Quick won’t be bought out. LA needs to have a goalie signed up that can be exposed in the Seattle expansion draft and with Campbell traded to the Leafs, that only leaves Petterson, who is the heir apparent.

        Quick will be kept so they have a goalie to expose. But LA has lots of other candidates that they can look at buying out. The two obvious being Brown and Carter.

      • Can’t expose quick he has a no movement clause. Seems this comment has to be posted every cpl days. Learn your hockey people. You cannot expose a player who has a no movement or no trade clause unless that player agrees to waive it.

      • Hey rog. Before you lecture people about that hockey stuff you might want to do a 101. Only nmc have to be protected. Ntc have no expansion protection. Stick that in your know it all pipe and grind it.

      • You’re wrong Chrism. No trade clause do mean that you cannot be exposed. The benefit to the no movement clause is that you can’t be sent down to the AHL. Even a modified no trade clause can protect you if you put Seattle on your list. Figure it out Chrisn geez.

      • You’re wrong about no-trade clauses, Roger. As per the NHL rules for the 2017 expansion draft (which will be implemented for the Seattle draft as well):

        “(A) player with a no-movement clause in his contract must be included on a team’s protected list unless he waives it. Players with no-trade clauses only do not qualify as no-movement clauses and must be protected or otherwise will be available to be selected.”


      • Over to you, Roger!

  5. I like Rask; however the Bruins have 2 solid goaltender prospects in the pipeline. Daniel Vladar in Providence Ahl 1.79gaa and .936 sv% and Jeremy Swayman at UOM also a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award 2.06 gaa and .936 sv%.

    Big question what would Rask next contract look like, same dollars less term?

    My cloud of doubt has always been the same for Rask, can he win the big game? Game 7 first goal against says not yet. Secondly I think he benefits from the structure that Boston plays and he needs time to rest to be mentally focus.

    Wonder what Rask numbers would look like if he played in the Winnipeg Jets net, they gave up the most shots and by far the most high dangerous scoring chances.

    Not saying Rask isn’t elite, as without with they don’t get by Toronto last year. Just wondering what his value is on his next contract.

    • That seems right IMO Caper. Close to same $, maybe a bump. 2 year max, and his mindset might be similar if his comments aren’t just a tactic.
      Vlader needs another year playing a lot to as sample size if fairly small since he was hurt earlier. Same #’s basically as Shesterkin, same games played too. So maybe he is ready?
      Would be nice to have Rask just in case for another 2.
      Halak for a year with Vladar getting 60% of the starts and Swayman 40% in Providence seems ideal IMO.
      I think Vladar is waiver eligible after this season, which is something to consider.

  6. Without Rask last year there is no way they even get to finals. I have never been a huge Rask supporter always thought he was good but not great last year he was amazing best player in playoffs easy. Now saying that I would not give him a long term contract maybe 3 years max. Studnicka in for Krech and one of the kids in for Rask May work out fine.

    • You are correct, there is a reason they were talking about Rask as the MVP in the playoffs.

      I don’t know about signing Rask for 3 more years at 7Mill, then you start getting into Fluery talks and pinned into a Cap corner.

    • As a pens fan I hate Rask. Pens outplayed the bruins in every conceivable way several years back and Rask slapped them back to the burgh

      • I remember Rask being in goal when the Bruins went up 3 games to 0 over Philly, and up 3-0 in game 7 ……. and lost.

        Thats how Ill remember Tuuka Rask….

      • Ron, imagine the new level of angst among LeafsNation had they kept him and that scenario had unfolded in a Leafs uniform?