BOSTON – Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask will undergo surgery to repair a previously undisclosed torn hip labrum, he said on Friday, two days after the team was eliminated from the playoffs by the New York Islanders.
Rask, who is eligible to be a free agent, said he hopes to re-sign with the Bruins and be ready to return in January or February.
“I won’t play for anyone other than the Bruins. This is our home, “he said.” At this point in my life and career, I see no reason to go anywhere else, especially with the health I am looking at now and a recovery time of five or six months. I hope I’m recovering well and that we can talk about contracts when the time is right. “
Rask only played 24 games during the regular season as the team managed their workload. He missed three weeks in March and April, but said it was because his back had seized up as he made up for his hip injury.
“It’s tough, but I never got to a point where I couldn’t play,” Rask said during the team’s exit interviews on Friday. “Obviously it’s not easy to play with a torn labral tear as a goalie, but… I think our coaching staff did a great job of keeping him going and keeping me there. “
Forward David Krejci is also a free agent having played his entire career in Boston.
“It’s not a question of money. I guess that’s all I can tell you. My next contract won’t be money-based, ”he said, adding:“ I just don’t see myself playing for another team. “
Rask, 34, said he didn’t blame the injury for the team’s untimely exit. He’s allowed 10 goals in eight periods in the last three games, all losses, including Game 5 when he was pulled out in the second break after allowing four goals.
“I can’t stand here and say, ‘It was because of my hip, I couldn’t play at my level. “I felt like I was playing at a very good level,” he said. “I thought everyone should be proud of themselves and the way we fought.”
Although he didn’t put any limit on how long he would play if his recovery went well, Rask said he didn’t count on it.
“It could also go the other way. Maybe I’m not recovering as well and maybe I just can’t play anymore, ”he said. “Who knows?”
Rask also said he would help mentor Jeremy Swayman if he was able.
“In all the ways that I can be of service to these young people, I want to do it,” he said. “Who knows what the goalkeeper situation will look like at the start of the season? I am definitely ready to help in any way I can. “
Also on Friday, defenseman Kevan Miller said he was ready to return for Game 7 against the Islanders if the Bruins had gone that far. Miller missed the entire 2019-20 season with a knee injury and appeared in 15 games this year before a setback cost him 20 games.
He suffered a concussion in Game 4 of the First Round against the Washington Capitals and hadn’t played since.
“You want to be there,” Miller said. “I was just about to be back, most likely would have played in Game 7. It only makes things worse, to be honest with you. It’s not good.”
In other injury news:
• Defenseman Charlie McAvoy said he had no lingering effect from the blow that sent him into the concussion protocol in Game 6; he came back after missing six minutes in the second period of the last game.
• Defender Brandon Carlo said it was doubtful he could have returned for a potential Game 7 after a hit in Game 3 that gave him at least the third diagnosed concussion of his career.
• Forward Craig Smith has said he’s suffering from a right groin injury he was dealing with during the playoffs, but won’t need surgery.
• Defenseman Steven Kampfer still has two and a half months of rehabilitation after his hand surgery.
• Forward Curtis Lazar has sprained his medial collateral ligament and injured his ACL, but he will not need surgery. “We feared the worst, we had the best possible news in this situation,” he said. “But still, it sucks not to play that last game.”
• Defenseman Jeremy Lauzon said he had hand surgery in the first round and played with a brace on his hand throughout the Islanders’ series.