The Boston Bruins believe in Tuukka Rask. How much faith do they have in their 26-year-old netminder? Enough to hand him an eight-year, $56 million contract, as reported by the team's official site. Rask's average salary cap hit will be $7 million a year through the 2020-21 season.
The Bruins rewarded Rask handsomely for his strong play the last two seasons, but did the team give Rask too many years and too much money?
Rask was outstanding in 2012-13. He excelled through the regular season, posting a 19-10-5 record with a 2.00 GAA and a save percentage of .929. Rask thrived in the starting role after spending the previous two seasons as Tim Thomas' backup. With Thomas on sabbatical and ultimately being dealt to the Islanders, Rask stepped up and was outstanding between the pipes.
Was his play worth eight years and $56 million? That's up for debate. If his play in 2012-13 is the norm, no one will be complaining about Rask's $7 million cap hit and eight-year contract. However, if Rask's play slides or if he suffers a serious injury, fans will be questioning why the Bruins gave him so many years. Rask's deal doesn't compare to the Rick DiPietro contract debacle, but the Bruins gave Rask as many years as are allowed under the new collective bargaining agreement.