Jaroslav Halak signed a two-year, $5.5 million contract with the Boston Bruins on Sunday. It has an average annual value of $2.75 million.
The 33-year-old goaltender was 20-26-6 with a 3.19 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and one shutout in 54 games (49 starts) last season with the New York Islanders.
"They have a great team," Halak said Monday. "A lot of talent; 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."
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Halak was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the ninth round (No. 271) of the 2003 NHL Draft. He is 232-150-48 with a 2.50 GAA, .916 save percentage and 42 shutouts in 449 NHL games (434 starts) with the Islanders, Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues and Canadiens. He won the William M. Jennings Trophy with the Blues in 2011-12 after finishing with a 1.97 GAA and a .926 save percentage, helping St. Louis allow the fewest goals in the NHL.
"We looked at that signing from every angle," Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said. "We certainly have familiarity with (goalkeeper development coach) Mike Dunham coming over from the Islanders. Even Jaro's save percentage taking a drop, most of it can be pinned on the penalty-kill situation, where his numbers as well as the team dropped. We feel like we were third in the League in penalty kill and hopefully it doesn't drop off. So those are certain areas, his actual [statistics] have always been above his expected for the most part, he's had playoff experience."
Halak will back up goalie Tuukka Rask.
"I'll try to help out any way I can," Halak said. "I'll try to fit in as soon as possible. We'll see what happens. I'm 33, I know Tuukka [Rask] is a little younger than me (31). I'm just looking forward to be with him. I know he's an elite goalie and he proved that every year. "
Halak is 13-15 with a 2.39 GAA and .924 save percentage in 30 Stanley Cup Playoff games.