Marty Turco is back in the NHL. Today the Boston Bruins signed the veteran netminder to a one-year, $600,000 pro rated contract as reported by Pierre LeBrun. The news comes after Boston learned that current backup goaltender Tuukka Rask is expected to miss the next four to six weeks with a groin / lower abdominal strain.
Turco needs to clear waivers before officially becoming a Bruin, but assuming he does, he will slide in as the number two netminder behind Tim Thomas. While his return is likely just a cameo, it’s fun to see Turco back at the NHL level.
Chalk this up as one interesting story.
After failing to land a job in the NHL prior to 2011-12, Turco signed a contract with EC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria’s Erste Bank Hockey League in December of 2011. Prior to this season, Turco spent one year with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010-11 and the Dallas Stars between 2000-01 and 2009-10. Turco now returns to the NHL to assist Boston in repairing the hole Rask’s injury opens up, assuming he does indeed clear waivers.
It’s important to note that since Turco was brought in by Boston after the NHL trade deadline on February 27th that he will not be eligible for the playoffs. This shouldn’t be a cause for alarm as Rask is expected to be back in the mix before the regular season ends. However, if he isn’t ready to go, Turco isn’t an option which would force Boston into a tight spot should Tim Thomas suffer an injury in the playoffs.
It’s safe to assume Thomas will take all the starts for Boston save a day off or two, meaning Turco could just be a face on the bench for the Bruins. During his time with Red Bull Salzburg, Turco played in just one game where he allowed three goals in an overtime loss.
In this writer’s opinion, it’s nice to see Turco back in the NHL even if it is just as a cameo appearance. Following the NHL lock out, Turco compiled some of the best stats at the goaltending position in the NHL, winning a combined 79 games between the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. It was a bit surprising that after his rough spell with Chicago in 2010-11 that not a single team took a flyer on him prior to 2011-12.
Will Turco’s appearance in the NHL at the end of the current season spell a more permanent return to the NHL in 2012-13? At age 36, it might be tough to envision a situation where Turco becomes a regular face in the NHL again, especially given the fact other experienced goaltenders such as Ty Conklin have been brushed aside, left to play in the AHL.