Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, shown March 14, 2015, won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and captured the Vezina Trophy in 2014. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 9 (UPI) — Boston Bruins star goalie Tuukka Rask has announced his retirement from the NHL after 15 seasons.
The Bruins’ longtime netminder released a lengthy statement on social media Wednesday, just one day after rumors swirled that Rask was considering hanging up his skates. In the statement, the goalie said his body “is not responding the way it needs for me to play at the level I expect of myself.”
Rask was an unrestricted free agent this past off-season when he opted to undergo hip surgery in hopes of an eventual return to the ice. He was able to begin skating again in November, and he signed a one-year contract with the Bruins on Jan. 11.
The 34-year-old Rask backstopped the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in his season debut. However, he was pulled from his next start after giving up five goals on 12 shots to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Rask was eventually moved to a backup role behind Linus Ullmark before being removed from the Bruins’ lineup entirely prior to the All-Star break. Boston hoped that Rask would be able to help the team through the second half of the season, but Rask’s body wouldn’t allow it.
“Today is a day that I hoped would never come. But now that it’s here, I feel I owe it to everyone to hear it from me,” Rask wrote. “When I made the decision to have surgery on my hip last summer, I did so knowing that the road to recovery would be challenging.
“I also knew it was something I would have to do if I wanted to give myself a chance to play my best hockey again. The rehab, the workouts, the practices — all of it was with the intention of getting back to where I needed to be to help my teammates win games and make another run at the Stanley Cup.
“Over these last few weeks, 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. Therefore, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from the game of hockey.”
Selected by the Toronto Maple Leafs with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2005 entry draft, Rask was traded to the Bruins before appearing in a game for the Leafs. He made his NHL debut for the Bruins in November 2007.
Rask won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins in 2011 and captured the Vezina Trophy in 2014. Over 564 career appearances, he finished with a 308-165-66 record and .921 save percentage. He also notched 52 career shutouts.
Jeremy Swayman, who started the season with the Bruins before being demoted to the American Hockey League when Rask was activated, will back up Ullmark as Boston competes for playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference.
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask retires after 15 NHL seasons appeared first on maserietv.com.