WILMINGTON, MA — B’s General Manager Peter Chiarelli spoke between the on-ice sessions at Ristuccia Memorial Arena and addressed recent rumors about restricted free agent goalie Tuukka Rask.
Chiarelli confirmed the goalie had agreed in principle to a one year 3.5-million dollar contract, which will be registered with the NHL on July 1.
“He wants to prove that he’s number the one goalie for the Bruins for a long time,” said Chiarelli. “So, this was the easiest way to set the stage for that [scenario].”
“Tuukka’s been a really good goalie for us,” added Chiarelli. “But for one year, he hasn’t been the number one goalie and the stage is set for him and we’ll see where it takes us.”
Chiareilli said that he hopes that it takes he and Rask back to the negotiating table this winter.
“I think that’s a risk that both sides were willing to take,” said the GM, when asked if the expiring CBA came into play. “In the ideal world this is a contract that we look to extend come January.
“If he’s a UFA come next year then we’ll just have to deal with it practically, but that really didn’t come into play.”
But from the sound of it, Rask will report to camp ready to play and to prove his worth to his hockey club.
“It’s a testament to Tuukka that he wants to do this for one year,” added the GM.
Chiarelli also explained that the club had also come to terms in principle with Alexander Khokhlachev; that the forward would attend Bruins training camp in September, but would play for a year in Russia.
Khokhlachev's Bruins contract would not take effect until the forward, who suffered a season-ending lacerated kidney injury on March 3, returns to North America to play professionally.
Drafted by Boston in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (40th overall), Khokhlachev earned a silVer medal with Team Russia at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship and compiled a 25-44-69 line in 56 regular season games for the Windsor Spitfires.