BostonBruins.com - One area of focus this offseason for Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney was backup goaltending. When the free agency period began on Sunday, Anton Khudobin signed with the Dallas Stars, posing the question of who the team's No. 2 goalie would be in the upcoming season. Sweeney wasted no time providing an answer, as he agreed to terms on a two-year, $5.5 million contract with veteran netminder Jaroslav Halak.
Halak, who has spent the past four seasons with the New York Islanders, saw Boston as a suitable destination for a number of reasons.
"Well, you know, they have a great team, a lot of talent," said Halak. "The city is great and, obviously, fans, as well. Every time we play there, it is exciting to play in that building, and it's so hard to play against all the time.
"The decision came down to the term and…my family. I have two kids already, and Boston is a great city for family as well, living there. I think that was the main decision. Also, like I mentioned before, Boston has a great team, and they're always on the top of the standings, and I'm just looking forward to helping out."
Video: Watch new Bruins Goaltender Jaro Halak's highlights
The 33-year-old started the majority of games for the Islanders in 2017-18, making 49 starts while appearing in a total of 54 games. With established No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask being part of the tandem, Halak will likely see less of a workload in 2018-19, and he said that he is willing to play whatever role is asked of him.
"I'll try to help out any way I can," Halak said. "I'll try to fit in as soon as possible…I'm 33; I know Tuukka is a little younger than me. I'm just looking forward to being with him. I know he's an elite goalie, and he proved that every year. Every time I get the chance, I'll try to help out, and we'll see what happens."
The Bratislava, Slovakia, native will have an easy time acclimating to playing with his new captain, Zdeno Chara, as they have become friends while representing Slovakia on the international stage throughout their careers.
"Every time we play on a national team, I really get along with him," said Halak. "Obviously, he achieved a lot playing for Boston, being the captain for a long time and [is] well known there. I think he is a great guy and a really good friend, and I'm looking forward to being his teammate again."