Berkshire County Bruins Fans! You Gonna Miss Tuukka Rask?
True blue(perhaps that should be true black and gold) die-hard Boston Bruins fans like myself are feeling a little sad this morning. One of the greatest living legends on the ice has ended his comeback bid and announced his retirement.
The rumors you may have heard are true. The man who was born Tuukka Mikael Rask on March 10, 1987, in Finland and played his entire 15 season NHL career with the Boston Bruins has officially announced his retirement, unlacing his skates permanently at 34-years-old.
Now I know a lot of people weren't too happy with Rask's gameplay lately. I'd be the first to tell you--no, check that!--Tuukka would be the first to tell you he hasn't been happy with his gameplay since he announced his comeback.
Rask attempted a comeback bid last month and it was altogether too brief. During the offseason, Rask voluntarily underwent hip surgery so he could eventually return to the game he truly loved. But it was not to be.
In a lengthy, emotional statement on the Boston Bruins Twitter page, Rask said in part:
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. 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 l expect of myself and that my teammates and Bruins fans deserve.
So to all the peeps that have been bashing Tuukka lately, keep in mind that nobody feels worse about it than Tuukka himself. And now that he's gone from the game, let's not focus on the negatives. Let's look at the glory years. The (black and) golden moments.
Rask is the winningest goaltender in Boston Bruins history with a franchise-best 308 career wins and over 14,000 saves. He won the hockey Holy Grail, Lord Stanley's Cup with the Bruins in 2011. He has the record for most shutouts in playoff series-clinching games in Bruins history.
You want more? How about winning the bronze representing Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Or being an NHL all-star twice. Rask won the Vezina Trophy(given to the best goaltender) in 2014. And those phenomenal achievements are still just the tip of the iceberg.
Struggling as I am to put into words how much I will miss Tuukka Rask, perhaps I'll simply let Rask himself have the last word. Again from the Bruins Twitter page:
I'm so proud to have worn the Spoked-B for my entire career and wouldn't have had it any other way.
Well said, Tuukka. Thanks for the memories.