The career of Tuukka Rask, one of the greatest goaltenders in the long and storied history of the Boston Bruins franchise, is officially over.

Rask had undergone hip surgery over the summer and didn’t sign anywhere in the offseason. In January, he returned to the Bruins. But in a statement released on Wednesday, Rask said that “I’ve realized that my body is not responding the way it needs to for me to play at the level I expect of myself and that my teammates and Bruins fans deserve.” With that, he announced his retirement.

While Rask is only 34, he made a huge impression on the Bruins and the NHL in general.

For the record, the only goalies ahead of Rask in save percentage and goals against average—Martin Brodeur, Dominik Hašek and Ken Dryden—are in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Rask’s greatness has raised a question. Will he be the last Bruins player to ever wear No. 40?

The Bruins do have 11 numbers retired, 12 if we count Wayne Gretzky’s universally retired No. 99. Still, retiring Rask’s number would be breaking some precedent. None of the previous players to have their numbers retired in Boston were goalies.

But Rask’s achievements are noteworthy. In addition to his statistical domination, he was also on the Bruins’ 2011 Stanley Cup winning team, though he was primarily a backup to Tim Thomas.

Following Rask’s announcement, Bruins fans pointed out how fortunate the franchise was to be that stable in net for so long.

Other fans, meanwhile, just took a moment to appreciate Rask’s career. Perhaps particularly as it comes on the heels of Tom Brady, another Boston sports legend, announcing his retirement.

Rask is leaving a big set of shoes (or skates) to fill.

About Michael Dixon

Michael has a background in sports writing both online (Bleacher Report, Sportsnaut, Fantasy Baseball Crackerjacks) and in print (Sedona Red Rock News, Brentwood Press). Sports have been a lifeline passion for Michael and he continues to enjoy writing and talking about them.